Years ago in my North Dallas ministry, Col. Pete Peters, a retired Navy flight instructor, was teaching me to fly. He had a commanding colonel’s voice. He was blunt and clear with me every time we went up. “I retain the right to pull up on the stick at any time while I’m sitting beside you. I want you to learn to do it right even if you’re 6000 miles from me.” He was serving me as my instructor. But you can be sure I was his disciple in that plane!

Of the important top 25 words of the New Testament, diakoneo (servant) would surely make the list. Authentic New Testament leadership presupposes servanthood. In fact, the word “minister” speaks more to the act of serving than to the art of speaking. Do you aspire to leadership? Then you must be willing to serve and honor someone else as a leader in your life. Be a willing follower, ready to assist and help. A Christian is first of all a disciple. That implies a humble servant and follower.

For example, Elisha had a school for young prophets. But he himself was known as the one who “had washed the hands of the prophet.” That prophet was Elijah, whom Elisha had followed. Jesus set the example of servanthood when he washed his disciples’ feet. He took the role of the lowly footman, the bottom rung servant of the house. Timothy and Titus both had books in the Bible named after them because they served Paul.

Beware! Avoid those people who want others to serve them, yet who will not themselves faithfully render service to someone above them.

    Who has the right to pull up the stick in your life?
    Whom do you allow to speak correction into your life?
    You want to be followed? Do you follow well?

These are valid questions. Their answers are important, maybe a matter of avoiding a crash in your life. Such answers will mark you as to whether you qualify for leadership. How well do you handle servanthood? Be honest with yourself—and God.

“servant, diakoneo (Greek, one who renders personal service) “Anyone who wants to be My disciple must follow Me, because My servant must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” Jesus in John 12:26 NLT


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