Archives For servant leadership

I had the privilege of attending the Leadercast One Day Event. Often I hear of these events and am not able to attend, instead following the play by play from different bloggers. This time, the event was simulcast in Cape Town. And to top it off, we hosted the session with one of my heroes, Bishop Desmond Tutu! More on that session later!

Andy Stanley started things off. He is hands down my favorite communicator. I would highly recommend his monthly leadership podcasts and even his weekly messages at North Point Church.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Being a Beyond You Leader.”

Andy defined this as, “Beyond You leaders are leaders who fearlessly and selflessly empower leaders around them, as well as those coming along behind them.”

One of the roles of this type of leader is to find next generation leaders and invest in them, going beyond yourself.

My first leadership experience was as an 11-year-old in Boy Scouts. As a newly christened “Assistant Patrol Leader”, I led as I had seen others leading. Experience said the way in which you led other pre-teen peers was through yelling and screaming, using all of your newly learned expletives until finally the group accomplished the task. Unfortunately my model came through watching the 12 and 13-year-old leaders!

Some leaders never outgrow this style.

They refine it, dropping the cursing, but maintaining the control and the “no questions asked” style. Hollywood promotes this style with military drill sergeants and gruff police captains.

As we grow in our leadership, we realize the limits of this style’s effectiveness. We come to understand a need to value people, not absolute obedience.

Drill sergeant discipline

“Missionaries could more effectively minister the gospel if they did not think they were superior to us”.

These words come from Duane Elmer, when he interviewed countless people on the field, asking them about the experiences they’ve had with missionaries.

The longer I am in missions, the more I gain a sensitivity to this perceived sense of superiority. It is not intended, but it is the message we often communicate.

I hear it with new, zealous missionaries who are convinced they have something to offer the poor helpless souls of such and such nation.

If I am honest, I still hear it from my own mouth after twenty plus years.

Well meaning, willing to serve; of course
But dripping with an unintended superiority complex; yes

Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility