by Steve Jones

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Service (3 of 6)
Series: Gap Leadership
Steve Jones

INTRODUCTION: Hermann Hesse' short novel "Journey to the East" tells the story of a timeless religious sect called "The League". A branch of the group goes on a pilgrimage to the East in search of the "ultimate Truth." There were many noble and brilliant members of this traveling branch, several of whom appeared to be in the leadership. Also in the group is a servant named Leo. Leo is described as a happy, pleasant, simple servant who prepares their meals and cleans up, sings them songs at night and tells stories around the fire. Initially the journey is fun and enlightening, but eventually they run into a crises in a deep mountain gorge when Leo disappears causing the group to plummet into anxiety and argument. They try to continue on but the group dissolves in dissension and bickering finally failing in their quest and turning back. Years later, one of the group members is called before The League where he discovers that Leo is not only still alive but is actually the president of the league and had been the leader of the journey all along.

Leo helps us understand that the best leadership, and Biblical leadership, is SERVANT leadership. As I noted last week, the term "servant-leader" was coined by Robert Greenleaf in 1970 but the concept goes back to Jesus and his disciples. Jesus said "The greatest among you must be the servant of all" and then he proceeded to back that up with his own example.

In an organization, everything rises and falls on leadership. Leadership is influence. Our families, our businesses and our church need each of us to grow more effective in our understanding and practice of servant-leadership.

Last week in the One Year Bible, the Proverb for Tuesday read, Proverbs 12:24 "Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave." We must work hard to become servant-leaders. Someone has said "The man on top of the mountain didn't fall there." Your growt ...

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