The world is crying for leadership today. We want leaders who can solve our problems and make life better for us and make us more successful. We want less war, more prosperity, less crime and more opportunity. We are looking to our leadership to deliver on those and many other issues.
The church world today echoes the same plea for leadership. Some say that leadership is the greatest challenge facing the world today. But is leadership really the problem? The Bible speaks little about leadership. What it does speak of is a King who has promised to save us, to lead us, and who will bring us into His royal family. This King, Jesus Christ, told His disciples that if they wanted to be great, they must be the servants of all. The body of Christ doesn’t have a leadership problem; its Leader is perfect. It has a servant problem. Too many want to be leader, and too many are willing to put them there. Too few really understand and seek to be servants.
The Servant Principle is key to the operation of the body of Christ, the Kingdom of God. It is key to fulfilling the most important commandments, to love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. It is the key to fulfilling the new command that the King gave to us that we love one another. The Servant Principle is how we act out that love. In order to fulfill the commandment to love one another, we must assume the servant role.
The Servant Principle is demonstrated and taught throughout scripture. It started in the Garden of Eden, and will continue through the Day of the Lord in Revelation. Great men of the Old Testament demonstrated it. Jesus embodied and taught it. The Apostles lived by it. Kings and rulers that followed the Servant Principle were successful; those who violated it were deposed and even killed. Those that practiced it were rewarded; those that violated it were chastised.
Satan has spent human history developing his counterfeit to the Servant Principle. We call it Leadership, which implies that one person is over another. He has developed the counterfeit to such perfection that the entire world, including most of the church world, has accepted it as the only way that organizations can run and be successful.
The Kingdom of God operates on the Servant Principle. God is King and the subjects of the Kingdom are to serve God and each other. Even when a human being is placed in a position where he or she has been given responsibility over others, that person is to fulfill those responsibilities as one who serves, first God and then the other person. The King Himself condemns the exercise of authority or ‘lording over’. Even those with responsibility over others are to submit themselves one to another as unto the Lord. Those who ‘watch for your souls’ do so out of a sense of responsibility and service to the very ones they are watching over. The attitude of dominance is not tolerated.
This projects looks at the scriptural basis for the Servant Principle. Then it examines the application. It examines how it was applied in scripture by Old Testament leaders, Jesus and the Apostles. Church History is consulted to see why the church moved from the application of the Servant Principle to the current hierarchical organization. The project examines current secular organizational and leadership philosophy and compares that with the current practice of the church. It examines current religious literature and practice to see the understanding of the Servant Principle. Finally, the project gives a model of the operation of the body of Christ using the Servant Principle and how application of the Servant Principle would heal many of the ills being experienced today in the body of Christ.