THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
SERVANT LEADERSHIP AND EVANGELIZATION
The effective servant leader is one who is an authentic Christian,
one who lives Christ and shares Christ. It is only in this
way that he/she can serve the Lord according to the Lord’s
intent. What does Jesus want to happen to people? “My
sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give
them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” (Jn
10:27-28a). Jesus came to save us, that we might not perish
in our sin, and so make it to heaven. How would this happen?
We need to meet Christ, to know Christ, and to follow Christ
(to live Christ). How does this happen? We hear Jesus’
voice, or the word of God, through human instruments who proclaim
the gospel of salvation in him.
human instruments are needed. And servant leaders are needed
to help form and guide all human instruments God chooses to
use. Since servant leaders do the very work of God, they need
to themselves have met and are living Christ, to a higher
degree. They need to reflect the very mind and heart of Jesus.
So the Holy Spirit looks for men after God’s own heart,
who can take care of His people and accomplish His plan through
such, for His people Israel, God “raised up David as
their king” (Acts 13:22a). What was his most important
qualification? Brains, brawn, influence, power, experience,
charm, connection, and so on? What is important for God’s
chosen one to carry out His will? Simply this: “I have
found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will
carry out my every wish.” (Acts 13:22b). God favored
David, in spite of his great sins of adultery and murder (of
which he repented), because David loved God and would do anything
for God. He could be counted on by God to do His work and
whatever He wished to be done. He was a true servant of God.
As such, he was God’s anointed leader.
the chosen, anointed and effective servant leader is one who
truly lives Christ and shares Christ, according to God’s
intent. He is a witness, shining God’s light in the
darkness, and he is a zealous servant in obeying God and doing
the work of worldwide evangelization. “For so the Lord
has commanded us, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of
the earth.’” (Acts 13:47).
Now the authentic servant leader can expect to be persecuted.
Those who oppose them can be jealous and abusive. “When
the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and
with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said.” (Acts
13:45). Those who oppose them may resort not only to abusive
words, intended to destroy their names and reputation, but
to violent action, in the process inciting others with lies
in their assault. “The Jews, however, incited the women
of prominence who were worshipers and the leading men of the
city, stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas,
and expelled them from their territory.” (Acts 13:50).
should the authentic servant leader do in such circumstances?
How should he react or respond? One, he should just continue
to boldly share Christ and do the work of evangelization.
“Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly” (Acts
if prevented from doing his work, the servant leader should
simply move on. There is much other work in other places that
can be done. “So they shook the dust from their feet
in protest against them and went to Iconium.” (Acts
13:51). The Spirit wants to touch everyone, but does not force
the gift of salvation on them. If the one you are evangelizing
resists or rebuffs you, just move on (but await another later
opportunity). “It was necessary that the word of God
be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn
yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the
Gentiles.” (Acts 13:46b). How truly unfortunate for
those who refuse to meet and know Christ. The salvation Jesus
won on the cross for them is for naught.
in the midst of persecution, hardships, disappointments and
pain, the authentic servant leader is to be joyful. “The
disciples were filled with joy and the holy Spirit.”
(Acts 13:52). Why? Because of the great privilege of serving
the Lord, doing the divine work of God, and suffering, albeit
in a much smaller way, as Jesus the Master.
What happens when an authentic servant leader simply obeys
Jesus and does what he is supposed to do, in any and all circumstances?
he unleashes the power of the word of God, as the good news
of salvation in Jesus is preached. Remember that in the process
of evangelization, we must preach (or proclaim) so that others
will hear and then believe. If we preach and others hear,
then the grace of God and the action of the Holy Spirit kick
in, touching minds and hearts. “The Gentiles were delighted
when they heard this and glorified the word of the Lord.”
(Acts 13:48a). The word of God, both oral and written (the
Bible), is truly delightful and life-giving.
proclamation of the gospel leads to hearing, which leads to
belief in Jesus, which leads to calling upon the name of the
Lord, which leads to salvation (see Romans 10:13-14). If only
there are those who share Christ, then those whom God intends
to be saved will be saved, as they hear the proclamation of
the gospel and accept Jesus in their lives. “All who
were destined for eternal life came to believe” (Acts
those others who meet and live Christ should also eventually
share Christ. Servant leaders help form, guide, encourage
and support them. Then the reach of evangelization will grow
in ever-widening circles, as more and more workers help in
bringing in the harvest. Then there will be rapid, massive
and worldwide evangelization. This was God’s intent
then as it is now, “and the word of the Lord continued
to spread through the whole region.” (Acts 13:49).
A final word. The work of evangelization is all about the
mercy of God. Jesus went to the cross and paid the price for
our sins so that we might be restored to the Father and live
with Him eternally in heaven. God wants this salvation for
all. “His mercy endures forever, his faithfulness lasts
through every generation.” (Ps 100:5b). In this, the
authentic servant leader is crucially important.
authentic servant leader rejoices even in persecution. He
offers himself to “serve the Lord with gladness; come
before him with joyful song.” (Ps 100:2). Because he
does so, then many others come to the Lord, restored as the
people of God. “Know that the Lord is God, he made us,
we belong to him, we are his people, the flock he shepherds.”
(Ps 100:3). And they share in the joy of salvation. “Shout
joyfully to the Lord, all you lands” (Ps 100:1). And
they enter the Church, His body on earth, until they finally
enter His kingdom in heaven. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise.” (Ps 100:4a).
The authentic servant leader is a missionary of mercy. He/she
is God’s mercynary.