Servant Leadership

For the bulk of my ministry, I have been intrigued with the biblical concept of servant leadership. And if you have paid attention, its tenets have enjoyed resurgence in both organizational and personal development over the past couple of decades. As Christ followers, we should not be surprised; after all, that is the way Jesus lived and led. And it’s the way he clearly encouraged his disciples to follow the lead of his words and actions. Still does.

The book of Acts is an intriguing narrative about the beginnings and establishment of the early Christian church. Referred to as “The Acts of the Apostles”, this sequel to Luke’s gospel is neatly divided into the stories of Peter and Paul and the cast of characters that accompanied them. This first post-gospel biblical entry presents a story line of the unbelievable and the absolutely predictable happenings surrounding the first century church. And it didn’t take them long to arrive at the intersection of practical need and personal response. The answer was the calling of the first deacons.

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A Two Thousand Year Old Conversation

It felt odd but good to sit at our kitchen table right in the middle of a sermon. The “Breakfast With Jesus” theme kind of sent me on a sermonic detour. I do love the image of sitting with Jesus over grits and eggs (I know it was bread and fish, but go with me here) and share meaningful time with him at a real high leverage moment.

I think of all the things that Jesus could have said to them in that moment. “Still don’t get it do you? How many times am I going to have to come back to you? And Peter, I told you you would melt under pressure. We’ve been here before, haven’t we?” But he didn’t. He simply said, “Sit down boys; let’s talk?” I’m pretty sure that came after he asked djeetyet?

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The After Easter Jesus

After conquering the grave, The After Easter Jesus thought it good to stick around this world for an extra forty days. He had spent forty days in the wilderness before starting his movement, so I suppose a matching bookend to complete the narrative was in order. Besides, it would take his crew at least that long to get their arms around a Jesus that doesn’t stay dead or where you put him. These days start with Jesus calling a confused, beloved friend by name. They conclude with the promise that he would always be present, even as he flew back to the heaven from which he came. The telling takes up all of one chapter in John, and bits of another in each gospel. Not a lot of ink as holy writ goes; but there are more than enough encounters and conversations worth leaning in and listening to.

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