THE SERVANT GENERAL
things are going well in community, then leaders get along
fine. But when disagreements come, this is where many fail
in servant leadership. But disagreements happen all the time.
In fact, it is good to have disagreements, as long as we do
not become disagreeable in handling these. Disagreements enable
us to sift through a particular situation or decision, look
at new angles, hear fresh insights, and challenge our own
thinking about the issue at hand. The result is hopefully
a better solution or decision, being the fruit of different
minds and a thorough discussion.
more importantly, God allows disagreements in order to test
the quality of our servanthood. When there is no disagreement,
then we can be very nice and agreeable. But when there is
someone who opposes what we believe to be right, how do we
react? Do we become defensive? Angry? Do we dig in? Are we
onion-skinned? Do we get hurt? God wants what is hidden to
surface, in order that we might address our own shortcomings
we handle disagreements in the right way, especially in the
face of provocation and seeming unreasonable opposition, then
we are on our way to greater holiness.
do we handle disagreements?
when someone disagrees, do not dismiss it outright, but thank
God that someone cares enough to try to come up with a better
move or decision. Second, be really open to the input, looking
at it as possibly coming from the Lord. Then go and have a
having your discussion, here are things that you should NOT
Be defensive. If you genuinely welcome any input, then you
do not have to put up any defenses. If you stand up for
your position simply because you already articulated that
position, then that is pride.
Be onion-skinned. Do not take a dissenting opinion negatively.
Look at it as being given not as a personal affront but
out of a genuine desire to help out.
Pull rank, in case you are speaking to a subordinate. He
is your brother, and the Lord can speak to him as much as
Walk out. You may not come to an agreement, and the situation
can become a bit heated, but be committed to working things
out. There is always the right way which is the Lord’s
way. If things cannot as yet be resolved, shelve it for
the moment (whether for a little while or over some days)
and return to it after cooling down and after praying. Or
bring in others who can help in resolving the impasse.
Quit your service or even the community, if things do not
go your way. Do not penalize and turn your back on others,
including the Lord and the community, because of your conflict
with just one person.
the other hand, here are some things that you should DO:
Be pure as a dove but wise as a serpent. That is, be meek
and humble and pure in thought, truly open to contrary opinions,
but also fight for what you believe to be right, arguing
your case strongly.
Look on the other party as truly a brother, committed to
you and to the well-being of the community. So keep cool,
knowing that you are both on the same side. Do not judge
him to be a trouble-maker (he might be, but it is not up
to you to judge).
Look to our pastoral structure and system in community,
which provides for ways and means of making decisions in
the face of contrary views. If the system is working, be
willing to subordinate your view to the decision of a higher
remember that we are appointed as leaders in order to serve
the Master and to carry out His agenda, not ours. We should
aggressively stand for what we believe to be right and true,
but we must always consider that we could be wrong, or that
there could be a better way than ours. Then we rejoice that
there are brethren, whom the Lord provides, who can help keep
us on the right track.
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Servant Leadership (Part 2) [PDF]