THE URGENT NEED FOR SERVANT LEADERS
I recently had the opportunity of being interviewed on UBC, the national TV station for about 30 minutes. The program was intended to raise awareness of our Bible College, Gaba Bible Institute and the new developments there especially the expansion from a rented half acre campus to an 18 acre property located 12 miles west of the city.
During this interview both Edwin, my host and myself were carried away by the question he posed right at the beginning and this was: What do you have to say about leadership in the wake of Uganda’s recent elections. This question triggered my mind to my life passion and the mission of Africa Renewal Ministries and of course Gaba Bible Institute. Today I would like to us this opportunity to share what I shared but also go a bit deeper about my thoughts on leadership.
1. Who is a leader?
2. What is success in leadership?
3. Why leadership and what is the church’s role in providing leadership to the nation?
1. WHO IS A LEADER?
A leader simply stated is a person who has followers. Mr. John Maxwel once wrote that if you want to know whether you are a leader just look over your shoulders to see whether there is one following and if so then you know you are a leader.
– But I need to expand that by saying that you also need to observe who is following you then you will know what kind of a leader you are.
– In the Bible the word leader is not common as the word minister or servant.
– This means that in God’s terms leaders are those who serve those people under their care. In other words real leaders are servant leaders.
– A leader therefore is that person who looks forward to make those under his care to make sure they succeeding and fulfilling God’s call for their lives.
Why are servant leaders so important?
I would love to answer this question by quoting Joshua 1:6: “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”
This verse says that the servant leader leads his people to inherit God’s promises. This to me is an awesome responsibility, it means that our calling as leaders is to bring out all the potential in the people we serve. To help them fulfill God’s destiny in their lives. For Joshua it was not just one individual but a whole nation.
Nations rise and fall at the expense of their leaders. Organizations, churches, companies rise and fall in the same way also.
These last few days we have heard to our shock the violence, blood shade and anarchy in Libya all at the hands of one man, the leader- who calls himself the king of kings. He built a nation and now he is destroying a nation.
1. What is success for a leader?
I attended a conference many years ago and out of all the words, the speaker spoke what caught my attention was the statement that; “success without a successor is not success.” The test of success for any leader is not how many buildings, how much is in your annual budget but does the nation, church or organization survive and thrive after you and I have gone? If not then you have failed.
Someone said that the minute you sit in a chair to lead begin working yourself out of the place.
It is a very sad situation to see and hear many leaders say that there is no one as good as themselves, no one with a vision or a passion the top leaders has. This problem is that we have not cared enough to identify, mentor, train and release others to do what we do.
2. THE FUTURE
The future for any nation, church or organization lies in the young generation that we presently have. This always makes me tremble every time I look at my own kids, the children and youth in our churches and the young people on every street corner in my city. They are going to be in charge, they are going to either make this country better or worse. But as we all know they do not know much, they probably don’t realize that the future is their responsibility and many times they don’t have a vision that stretches beyond their present.
Again it is our responsibility to think beyond today and prepare our nation for tomorrow. We therefore, ought to invest time, money and care in shaping these future leaders.
This involves training our young people in: character, leadership skills, ethics, skills of communication, the importance of work, care for the environment and all other things that will ensure a better continent, nation and better churches.
3. What is the church role in bringing about better leaders for the nation?
a) Prayer:- we can influence change through our prayers
b) Spiritual transformation.
My experience as a Christian and a pastor has clearly shown me that man is basically selfish. We always desire our way.
We can talk a lot about the importance of good governance, the evils of corruption, the beauty of nationalism but the bottom line is: people will do the exact things they say are wrong. The new leaders will always find themselves sliding into the same behaviors they criticized their predecessors.
This therefore leads to one major conclusion: unless a heart is changed it is very hard to do the right things. This change only comes when a man, woman, boy or girl gets a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. At the feet of Jesus we exchange our selfish life, our sinful life, our personal agendas and take on a new agenda. And that is: Living for God’s glory and for His purpose and not ours. Then we begin fulfilling the greatest commandment “Luke 10:27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
My prayer is that in your area of service and at your present state in life you will desire to be the leader that God desires for you to be. I also pray that you will be God’s agent of change.