Great Among You

By Karen Isbell

My love of words is not limited to my communication skills. (see previous post)

I love to write words

I love to read words

I love to underline words

Bookstores make me happy. I love finding an old book in a thrift store with a history. I love getting lost in a sea of words.

A recent treasure was discovered and the search for it was no further than my own bookshelf. Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders was recommended to me. You can imagine my delight when I found it nestled among many other beloved books. I had bought it an college and never read it. I was soon disappointed in myself for neglecting it for so many years!

I am working my way through it for the second time, making sure to savor every truth. Not only is Sanders an eloquent writer, but also, practical and straight forward.

The truth I have been meditating on recently is servant leadership. “The term servant speaks everywhere of low prestige, low respect, low honor. Most people are not attracted to such a low-value role. When Jesus used the term, however, it was a synonym for greatness. And that was a revolutionary idea” (J. Oswald Sanders)

A servant leader leads by serving. The servant leader does not demand his own rights but puts those he is leading before himself, considering them first. The servant leader lays down his life for those he is leading.

The servant leader also knows that in order to serve and lead those he is given, he must also care for himself. Neglecting himself, spiritually, physically and mentally does not serve his people.

A lack of outward or physical disciple is a sign of a lack of spiritual discipline (Richard J. Foster paraphrase)

A servant leader must be disciplined and have boundaries.

We all lead someone, whether its our family, our peers, our co-workers, we all have influence in peoples lives.

I am humbled to have a servant leader who lives in my home. My man is such a servant leader. Anytime I am asked what I love most about him, without missing a beat, I can say, “I love that he loves me like Christ loves the church”. How does Christ love the church? He laid his life down.

I am challenged by the way that Bryan leads me and others by serving and by the words of J. Oswald Sanders, as they point us back to the greatest servant leader, Our Savior

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. Mark 10:43-44

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