Prior to our isolation of COVID-19, we had the 2020 Servant Leadership NOW Summit! What we did not know in February that a coming pandemic was looming over us. The whole world has been impacted by an invisible “enemy” that has attacked us in all areas of our lives. #servantleadershipNOW #servantleadership
This article was first written in the fall of 2019. Today, it is being revisited and revised. Why? In 2020, although very difficult, we learned some valuable lessons. I reflect now in 2021 about the day of the 2020 Summit. The speakers were so pointed and on-task concerning the rewards of serving in leadership as a servant of God. The notes that I took that day are indescribable. I am compelled now to rewrite this article as a summary of what I heard and felt. It is an opportunity to reconstruct. It is to say to you – On the Jericho Road – there is room NOW – do not hesitate to travel. Get onboard while you can.
Often times, when we speak of a reward system for Christians, we talk about in terms of eternality – a hereafter; but, there is a reward system for servant leaders that precludes eternality. It is one that Jesus demonstrated in dealing with mankind, justice, and compassion.
We see in the world’s system a lack of human mankind, justice and compassion. We can discuss the reasons for this and perhaps, not agree about several points. My thoughts are that of concern for those who are trying to decide what is the right road to travel on this journey that we call “life.” How is it that life can be so difficult but rewarding at the same time. What Jesus modeled was a reward system of life that we can travel NOW. He taught that there are sustained benefits in supporting someone other than yourself. There are benefits in showing compassion toward strangers in need. When you have opportunities to make a great difference in serving the needy, it is rewarding; however, by man’s standard, it is temporary. By His system, it is rewarded while you are here on Earth – it precludes eternity.
In Luke 10:29-37, Jesus responded to the question, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus detailed the experience of a certain man who fell among thieves as the man traveled from Jerusalem to Jericho. The lot of this man could have been fatal had it not been for the kindness of a stranger. This story of The Good Samaritan is an example of compassion to a stranger. To expect God to bless you without you showing compassion toward strangers, is not God’s way. Compassion that is based on only who we love, who shows us kindness, is that the type of compassion that Jesus’s teaches in this parable. Rather, Jesus’s teaching of compassion is toward those who are in need of your service.
It is also interesting how the religious man who was expected to show this injured stranger kindness passed him by on the Jericho Road. In fact, the religious man chose to go around him and take a different path; but the Samaritan, who according to culture, was not to have anything to do this man, showed him compassion. At the end of the story, Jesus compels says, “Go, and do likewise.”
Throughout the Summit, there was a repetitive, unified voice that reminded us of the value of responsibility, accountability, and compassion. God’s reward system is daily. Daily, He feeds His servants. He does not make you follow him. Being a responsible leader, showing accountability and leading with compassion is worthy for a servant hired by Him. To reward you openly is His pleasure. Being the Jericho road that allows you to do for others – for those who are even strangers – is His way – not ours.
Finally, compassionate servant leaders are rewarded by:
(1) An intrinsic gratification that pleases God. (2) Trust in the Word. If you love others as yourself, you will eat of the good fruit that only God can give. (3) Grace. When you have mercy on others, God demonstrates undeserving favor toward you. You can reap rewards of Servant Leadership NOW! – a blessing from the reward system established by the Great and Good Shepherd on this Jericho Road. The net will be a greater reward system from Him.