As Christian leaders and teachers, we are called upon to “be like Jesus.” We are to be servants to those we are responsible to guide and direct. The biblical model for leadership is not about gaining power or success or even being in control — it is about serving others. It’s an awesome responsibility that can be challenging. But it comes with great rewards!
As ministers to children, we need to heed the words of Jesus when He said, “Unless you become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) Children have a level of trust and innocence that we lose when we become adults. It is important in our teaching and in our relationships with them that we honor their trust. We should help them retain their innocence while sharing, as appropriate, the real world.
It can be hard to understand the example of “putting on the yoke” that Jesus mentioned in Matthew 11:28-30. But, just like oxen needed to be yoked to carry their burden, we need to put on His yoke so that He may guide and direct us. And just as Jesus was meek to allow God to control and direct His path, we must also be meek so that Jesus can control our lives and our ministry.
However, haven’t we been taught that meek is weak? Moses was the greatest leader in the Old Testament, but God called him the meekest man on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3). Moses was meek in part because he allowed God to guide and direct him as he led God’s people. He was their leader, but he was also their servant, and in turn, he was primarily God’s servant. If the two greatest leaders of the Old and New Testament — Moses and Jesus — were meek, certainly the world’s definition of meek is entirely wrong. If we do not learn this principle, we can misunderstand how to be leaders in our ministry. When we put on Jesus’ yoke, He will ensure that our ministry is effective, and our burdens are light. He promised rest for our weary souls.
Therefore, to be true servants of God, we need to have the courage to be meek and humble. We are called to put on Jesus’ yoke so that He controls our lives and guides us into the path of ministry that He’s called us to. The act of being meek is strong as we give Jesus control.
I have identified 10 steps that we as leaders must learn to be disciplined under God’s control.
- Give your life to God and recognize His sovereignty.
- Put the needs of the children before your own.
- Persevere through the trying times.
- Be willing to surrender all to God.
- Spend time with God, getting to know Him and seeking His counsel.
- Be patient and wait on God’s timing.
- Live by the rules of heaven (God’s kingdom), not those of the earth.
- Seek and listen to the wise counsel of others.
- Share your wealth and blessings.
- Perform your specific role in God’s kingdom with a humble and loving spirit.
A godly leader is always growing and learning from others in their church family — even the kids. A godly children’s leader is always looking for a way to use their time and talents to love, serve, guide, uplift, and help transform those whom they teach.
Being a servant leader for God’s children requires us to love and serve them with a humble and grateful spirit. We must be willing to hear the words of Jesus and let Him guide us as we attempt to lead and guide our children to be future leaders themselves.
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