Friday, April 23, 2010

Servant Leaders

John Goldingay makes an interesting point in his book on Old Testament interpretation (Old Testament theology, volume 1). Discussing the the times of the Judges, which if you're looking for a text on leadership, you might want to look somewhere else. Unless you want to know how not to lead! He says the stories of Gideon, Jephtah, Samson, etc, generally show how leaders share in and encourage the moral and social disorder they were supposed to restrain. Their failures as leaders are especially striking since they follow good leaders like Moses and Joshua. His point is this: Moses and Joshua are not called leaders in the Bible, but servants. And the Judges are called leaders but not servants. After Joshua there is no "servant of the Lord" again until Samuel. Beware of leadership texts and leadership seminars. We do not need more leaders, Goldingay suggests, we need more servants! Lord, save us from leaders! Especially in the church. Send us servants of God!