“Humble Servanthood”

God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1Corinthians 1:26-29)

A boy was asked by his parish priest to serve as one of the leaders in their parish community. As he was being told of the possible responsibilities, he said that he was not sure if he was worthy to lead their group of youth, and that he felt he needed to have a better relationship with God first to become the leader they need. The priest then told him that he was more ready than ever by what he just said.

Often times we equate great leadership with confidence. Good leaders are those who exude wisdom and experience, someone who demonstrates a vast knowledge about his/her craft. A leader, without question, is someone who embodies all the principles followed and believed by the group of people he/she is leading.

These are, and should always be, true qualities that we must expect of a great leader. But going back to the story above, we have to realize that the boy was asked to SERVE through leadership. With all the qualities we mentioned above, one thing that most of us forget is the fact that being a good leader means being a great servant first. Just as Jesus was, we have to see leadership as a means to serve for the greater good. Before we tell people what to do, we must learn to listen and obey first.

In other words, a key component in the road to great leadership is humble servanthood. We can’t discount confidence because a person needs to believe he can make a difference through his leadership.  BUT knowing that he can’t do it by himself and that he alone is not (worthy) enough to make things better, is a sign of humility that a leader to be must comprehend and have. Humility, as believed by the priest in the story above, is shown on the boy’s dependence on God’s providence to make him qualified for the job.

As we seek to enrich our faith through service, let us remember that all we need is a willing heart. Anything and everything else that is required by the service will be provided by God. He just needs us to believe that through Him we can have what it takes to serve our brethrens. We need Him. We need God’s grace and presence within us to be His instruments. We make that possible by accepting and admitting our need for help, that through God we can fully be qualified to answer His call to service.

Want a jump start on your life of great servanthood? Join us for Many Hands One Spirit, our young adult day of service on May 11. More info: click here.