A lot of us know the story of Jesus washing the feet of His apostles. It is the perfect story of Jesus that teaches us to serve like Him – to be a servant leader. But as time goes by, as I deepen my relationship with Him and know him even more, I discover that His very core image and His public ministry life is all about His being a servant leader to the people of God. Jesus walked to the streets, gave sermons in the synagogues, healed the sick, and performed miracles. All those things that Jesus did for His people are perfect evidence that He is our perfect model of servant leadership.
I am Mok Hinggan. I want to share my experience when God called me to become a servant leader of this community. First, God called me to be a Household servant. By that time, I did not know what a Household servant is. What I knew when I led a group was that I have the power to command my members to do what I want them to do, and to impose my principles. But when I underwent some training and teaching, I learned how to lead household meetings and how to love my members. And then, God called me to a greater calling. He called me to be a Chapter servant. After some time, He called me to be the area servant of Laguna. A year after, God pursued me and called me to become a mission volunteer. I thought that my story of being called was just an ordinary story of me responding to His call to be a servant. I knew that in every response to His call, it takes a lot of responsibility to lead my area. But God formed and brought me to a process that took a lot of pain and hurt. I need to trust the process, and I need to trust Jesus even more for me to become a servant like Him – to serve not to be served.
JESUS is my perfect exemplar of true servant leadership, and as I reflect on it, I came up with my 3 core points of true servant leadership.
- Humility. Jesus, in all humility, touched the lepers, who were then considered as untouchables in His time, and healed them. Also, the famous story of Jesus when he washed the feet of His apostles is an example of humility. St. Bernard defines it as ‘a virtue by which a man knowing himself as he truly is, abases himself.’
- Compassion. The word ‘compassion’ comes from the Latin word “compati” which means to “suffer with” someone, with the sense of coming to the person’s aid. In Tagalog, “pakikiramay.”
The story of the Good Samaritan, from Luke 10:25-37, is a memorable example of this. The word ‘pity’ means a feeling of sadness or fear at an unavoidable lot of another, either deserved or undeserved. Compassion is our response to the commandment that is to love our neighbor.
- Love. Love entails sacrifice. Love is self-giving. Being a true servant is always giving oneself. I remember the story of the last supper when Jesus told these lines:
“Then He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’
He did the same with the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood poured out for you.’
I always remember the self-giving attitude of Jesus, that He gave even in His flesh and blood to His people.
True servant leadership is not conforming to the standard of the world which is to seek recognition. It is all about giving our whole self to others without selfish intentions.
Mok Hinggan is a Mission Volunteer of MFC Youth serving in the Luzon Missions Team.