community, ministry, stories, theological

An Indo Board and a Lesson in Servant Leadership

For the last few days, a few friends and I have had access to an indo board, a balance trainer that looks like this:

We weren’t exactly sure what to do with the indo board (especially me since I have very minimal physical coordination). But we enjoyed sitting, laying, and standing on it nonetheless, accompanied each time by falls, giggles, and luckily no injuries.

Late last night, while my friend Lucille was trying to stand on the board, I got up off the couch and stood in front of her so that she could steady herself with my arms and shoulders.

“I’ll help you stand,” I found myself saying, “even if I can’t stand like that myself.”

3 things strike me about the implications of that statement:
1. That’s what Jesus did. He helped people back to life and wholeness, knowing that he was going to die. Christ “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself to death — even death on a cross!” (Phillipians 2:7-8).

2. That’s what Christ’s followers are called to do — to help others stand even if we can’t, to “in humility value others above [ourselves], not looking to [our] own interests but to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3). I don’t think this means that we’ll never stand but that we’ll stand precisely by helping others stand. In other words, we’ll be greater by being less (John 3:30).

3. Practically speaking, this metaphor challenges and encourages me regarding leadership positions and jobs both in the present and future. Since I (like many people) tend to desire recognition and promotion, I hope that throughout my work life I can keep with me the image of being at my best by assisting someone else to be at their best, helping others stand even if it seems that I don’t get to stand.

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