May 17

Written by Bill Grandi on May 17th, 2021

I have been slowly reading Paul David Tripp’s book called Leadership. When I say slowly, I mean slowly. It is not one to bust through. I have read a chapter and had to stop. Sometimes for weeks. The latest has probably been a month.  Recently I read the following:

There is no doubt about it: servanthood is the thematic biblical description of every follower of Jesus Christ. How much more, then, is it true of those who are called to be leaders? (p.140)

But then a bit later he wrote this gem:

“Hypercritical theological arrogance is not the fruit of a servant’s heart. Looking for people to troll on Twitter is not what occupies the heart of a servant. Pride of accomplishment contradicts servant humility. Disrespect of the vital gifts of women to the health of the body of Christ fails to mirror the servant heart of Jesus. Treating your church or ministry as if it belong to you denies your servant calling. Resistance in the face of the loving advice, concern, watchfulness, and rebuke of fellow leaders is resistance against your servant position. Exercising your leadership position in a way that is more political than pastoral does not flow from a servant’s heart. Treating staff members as if they are there for you rather than together with you serving the Lord happens when you forget your servant calling. Any dismissive, disrespectful, impatient, angry, bullying behavior is a failure to joyfully embrace the lifestyle of a servant. Ministry leadership conversations that are regularly marked by complaint are the fruit of entitlement, not servanthood. To get mad at little ministry inconveniences when we have been called to follow our Savior in His suffering, demonstrates how easy it is to drift away from what our Master has called us to be and do. ” (pp.141-142)

I know that is a lot to take in.  Now you can see why I wrote about why I’m slowly reading this book. I know many of my readers are not pastors or “people in professional ministry.”  If you have been mistreated, bullied, or taken for granted, I am sorry.  I know I have done just that in the past.  I wish I could do a traveling “forgiveness show” and go back to all the churches and tell them I’m sorry for not being a servant. But I can’t. But I CAN change now.

Perhaps you can as well. Professional or not. We are all servants, not here for ourselves, but for others.

“Father, help me to be a servant. As I struggle with that, help me to change.”


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Diane Ronzino says:

    Wow! I can see why you need breaks in between… those kinds of words need processing. As does this post this morning. Thanks for sharing this. It puts serving all into perspective.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Diane. I read it again this morning to refresh myself and those words still need processed.

  2. Ryan S says:

    Servant leadership… not tyrannical leadership, not dictatorship, not leadership by fear.

    Bill, I was there when you were setting up chairs in the gymnasium every Sunday morning. I have been the recipient of your visits to the hospital and our home. I have watched as you got dirty with our service outreach projects. Not to mention the countless messages you have prepared, teams you have lead, and studies you have taught.

    Not to give you a big head, but I think you model servant leadership well.

    I am sure we can all improve… I know I can… but I think when the time comes… and hopefully not for a very long time…

    You will hear the words “Well done good and faithful servant”

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Ryan, I have admit I’m somewhat embarrassed by this. Not that I mind it is just that I never thought for a minute anyone noticed. Your words humble me because I never thought… thank you my friend for this boost today.

  3. Yes, Bill, this is certainly heady stuff, and I would have to read it in bits and pieces, too. Pastors or laity, we all need to remind ourselves that our role is to serve others, to have a servant’s heart always at the ready.
    By the way, I did catch your sermon yesterday after all – wonderful!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      It is heady stuff Martha. I need to keep reading it over and over and I think I am still learning new things. What a difference it would make if we all took a servant’s heart. Glad you listened and thanks. 🙂