THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
CHOSEN, ANOINTED, EMPOWERED
Today’s reading: 1 Samuel 16:1-13
reading is about Samuel’s anointing of David as king.
There are a number of things we can learn here about the call
to servant leadership, which many of us are called to.
choice is often not appreciated by human beings. Even the
prophet Samuel, when Eliab, the first of Jesse’s sons,
was presented to him, “looked at Eliab and thought,
‘Surely the anointed is here before the Lord.’”
(v.6). God told him to “not judge from his appearance
or from his lofty stature” (v.7a). How often do we ourselves
do so? Do we choose as leaders those who have high education,
a lofty status in society, the rich, the politically connected,
the one with many secular awards? They of course can also
be good leaders, but their lofty stature is not God’s
is the wisdom of God? “God does not see as a mortal,
who sees the appearance. The Lord looks into the heart.”
(v.7b). God does not necessarily look to intelligence, experience,
societal stature, secular accomplishments, but rather, to
what is in the heart. God looks to goodness, integrity, humility,
commitment. Experience can be gained. Skills can be learned.
But the heart is what makes a person who and what he is.
it is interesting that Jesse called all his sons but not David.
He did not think David would be considered at all. How many
times might we miss out on the person God wants to use as
a leader, because we do not see him in that role? Perhaps
the person is too young, or not so educated, or has no stature
in society, or does not speak well, or has no background in
spirituality and leadership. But the wisdom of man is foolishness
God’s choices can be mysterious to us. But when God
chooses, He then anoints.When David was brought in, “the
Lord said: ‘Thereanoint him, for this is the one!’”
(v.12b). God knows whom He wants, and He is impatient to use
them in His service. How many times might we thwart God’s
intent, by our not stepping forward, or by our not calling
on others to step forward? Remember, work as God’s servant
leaders is new to most of us (that is, when we were called).
We might just be about doing our secular work, as David was
tending sheep. We may not receive a direct call from God.
So it behooves the Samuels and Jesses to be sensitive to how
God might be calling others, so these others can be presented
when Samuel anointed David, “from that day on, the spirit
of the Lord rushed upon David.” (v.13b). First there
was God eager to anoint David. Now here was the Holy Spirit
eagerly rushing into David, giving him the power and strength
he needed. Whom God chooses, He anoints. Whom God anoints,
is all up to God. Our effectiveness as servant leaders is
up to God. All we need to have is a humble heart that desires