Mark 9: 33-37
“Whoever wants to be first must be last and servant of all” (v. 35b).
There’s a whole genre of leadership literature on so-called “Servant Leadership.” Some of it, admittedly, misses the point, suggesting that the leader employ a “servant” attitude to gain personal power.
Most books argue, however, that servanthood is a lifestyle, one that connects deeply with others, seeing others as equals, no matter who they are or where they come from.
This is closer to what Jesus is talking about. I think Jesus was saying that that true greatness comes from serving. Which makes paradoxical sense according to God’s upside down kingdom where weakness is strength, wisdom is foolishness, and wealth is poverty.
But we need to realize that Jesus isn’t asking his followers to become doormats. Stephen Ministry distinguishes between “servanthood” and “servitude.” Servitude makes unhealthy demands and drains all love and compassion. Servanthood is born from love and treats people as equals. Servanthood gives life. Servitude drains life.
What does being a servant look like in your life? Do you fall into the servitude trap?