The Service and Leadership Connection
Pastor Sam Adeyemi
1 Samuel 8: 10- 18 (NIV)
Many that aspire to the position of leadership underestimate the pressures and temptations that come with those positions as well as weakness of human nature to handle those temptations. Some, who were critical of those who occupied leadership positions before, perform worst when they have opportunities to occupy such leadership positions. When they were outside those positions, they had assumptions which were not correct. There are pressures and temptations that come with occupying leadership positions.
In Matthew 16, Jesus asked His disciples who do men say I am? Many answers kept flying out. But He asked them, who do YOU think I am? Peter answered you are the Christ, the son of the living God. Jesus said blessed are you because flesh and blood didn’t reveal this to you but my father in Heaven. So there, Heaven used Peter’s mind to launch a revelation of the identity of Christ. Down the same chapter, Christ was describing how He was to be taken to the cross and die for the salvation of all. Same Peter took Him aside and rebuked Him. Jesus said, get thee behind me Satan. Remember it was the same man who identified the Christ. Now, he was speaking sponsored rubbish from the devil. When people aspire to positions of leadership, they usually underestimate the pressure and its temptations.
Jesus Christ knew where the idea or statement from Peter came from. He rebuked the source straight. Peter who was being used by Satan didn’t know. He was saying all he said out of concern. You don’t really know someone’s character until you give him/ her power. Political, social and religious power, it brings out the real person inside of a human being. 11 kings 8: 7 – 15 (NIV) The prophet was weeping because he could see the future. What will you do with financial power? What will you do with political power?
The temptation to use power to acquire wealth with greedy, take revenge on enemies or to dominate others is very high. You may not feel it, until you hold the power and realize what you could do. When Satan gives you revelations on the possibilities of the power in your possession, you need God’s grace to overcome.
Luke 4: 14 Christ got power at the river Jordan. The Spirit of God descended on Him in form of a Dove. He was led into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. The first temptation was about food. The devil knew Christ had not eaten for forty days. He was tempting Him with His needs. Once you use power to greedily acquire for yourself to hurt other people out of revenge, manipulate other people and control things God didn’t call you to control, that is an abuse of leadership. Where leadership is abused, the result is destructive.
Jesus came into such an environment in which leadership was being abused but He set a new template. Mark 10: 42 – 45. The goal of leadership is improvement in the lives of those we influence. The goal of leadership is positive change. The means for achieving those goals is service. The application of a principle requires understanding. If you must produce certain results, you should clearly have insight into how it works. You need insight to see a tree in a seed. The root to positive leadership is service.
In Judges 9: 7 – 15, some people have their breakthrough post dated until God sees some spiritual adjustments in their spirit. The trees wanted to appoint a king. They went to the Olive tree to be king over them. But olive tree said, it is not the position that makes you a leader but service. They approached the fig trees, same story too. A position or title without the capacity to serve will make you a liability. Whatever your position is, your skills set, talents are, leverage them to bring improvement into peoples’ lives. The people that lead through service will displace those leading with coercion.