The Call of the Steward Leader
In his book, The Steward Leader, Scott Rodin describes Christian leadership as “an ongoing, disciplined practice of becoming a person of no reputation and, thus, becoming more like Christ.” In the New Testament, “reputation, image, prestige, prominence, power and other trappings of leadership were not only devalued, they were purposefully dismissed.”
The Apostle Paul continually refused the trappings of reputation and considered his ministry stewardship from God to others, referring to himself as a bondservant of Jesus Christ. As bondservants of Christ, we are to know that it is God who is at work in us accomplishing His will and purpose. We cannot be selfish, envious of another’s place or success, boastful of our accomplishments, or arrogant regarding our status. Instead, we are invited share in the life and ministry of Christ.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name. Philippians 2:3-9 (NASB)
The Call to Stewardship
As leaders, we have the significant responsibility and opportunity to divest ourselves of the striving for personal gain and success to take on the life and nature of Christ. This call to steward leadership allows the love of God to envelop our hearts, and provides an atmosphere for God to accomplish His will through us for the benefit of the people He loves. I want to leave you with two additional quotes from The Steward Leader that highlight this point.
“Steward leaders empower their people, give away authority, value and involve others, seek the best in and from their people, and constantly lift others up, push others into the limelight and reward those they lead—all so that God’s will may be done in a more powerful way. They seek no glory for themselves, but find great joy in seeing others prosper.”
“The call of the steward leader is a call to a lifestyle of an ever-decreasing thirst for authority, power and influence, where our quest for reputation is replaced by confidence in the power of God’s anointing… We know that there are others more talented, more prepared, more spiritual and more courageous than are we. But great, godly leaders have always worked at that miraculous intersection where humility and faith meet the awesome presence and power of God’s Spirit—and the miracle of leadership happens.”
All quotes taken from: Rodin, R. Scott. The Steward Leader: Transforming People, Organizations and Communities (pgs. 12-17). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.