Servant Hearted Leadership Following the Leader of Leaders

School is sprinting full force straight at us and parents, teachers, and administrators face, with great anticipation, the huge job ahead of them.  A job that truly is not seen in the now.  Our job is touching, reaching, and changing the future. There are moments in the classroom that change the world for kids. There are moments that will give hope and grace to kids who have never known hope or grace. There are moments where those same kids will feel like they are heard and they matter and that might possibly be the first time they have ever felt that way.  There are moments that allow a future to unfold in a way that child never dreamed it possibly could.

So how do we as adults, educators and parents, change the future?

In 1 Kings 3 we see Solomon entering his kingship. His throne has been established and he has gone up to Gibeon to make a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. While he is there, during the night in a dream, God comes to Solomon and says, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you (verse 5).”

This is the moment of a lifetime, Solomon could ask for anything! Fame, fortune, long life, he can have it all and God has given him the chance to think of the thing he most longs for and values.

What would you ask for? Where would your heart be?

Solomon answers so graciously in verse 6, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.”

He knew he had nothing to do with achieving the throne. He accepts that God is allowing him the chance and honor to ask for anything his heart desires and his heart is already aligned in the right direction making his request all the more humble in verses 8 and 9, “Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

Solomon’s concern is servant centered. He understands the throne is from God and the people belong to God and furthermore he is extremely aware that he is not equip to serve them as their leader.

Teachers are working tirelessly to prepare to walk into classrooms full of students. As we get ready to step through that threshold on the first day and meet those anxious, excited, eager faces our prayer should be like Solomon’s, “God, thank you for this honor!  These kids are yours and this job is yours.  I did not get here on my own. Please give me a discerning heart to serve these kids so that I always point them to you and they see you!”

True leadership is surrendered; it is submitted to the King of Kings. Solomon understood this concept. He knew he was part of David’s legacy.

You will lead someone and in that leading you have a true honest responsibility. How will you carry out that responsibility? How will you serve? Where is your heart?

Leadership carried out responsibly involves following someone. King David followed God and longed to have a heart like him and passed that legacy onto his son Solomon.

Growing up my mom always told me to choose carefully who I followed by looking at who was leading them. There are so many wonderful people who have poured into me over the last 34 years and two very special heroes.   I would like to point out one in particular whose display of a servant heart changed my life. When I met him I was a starry-eyed immature wanna-be teacher. He met me with a smile and a kindness I hadn’t seen many times and he tried to prepare me for the job and journey I was fixing to step head first into. His job was simply to make me a teacher and my job was to soak up every last thing I could over a very short twelve week span. I had no idea that God would completely turn over my life and my heart in twelve weeks.

Leadership is all about the heart; a servant heart. What I learned over those twelve weeks was all about the heart. He showed me a kindness and love for teaching and for others in a new way that I  had not seen before.  I learned how to be patient, how to serve students, and how to speak in front of others without fear because God would be with me.  His heart for God was always evident, every moment of every day.  I watched him show every student and adult Christ through his actions and words as he served. He truly served others where they were at always meeting them at their hearts.  At the end of the twelve weeks my heart was broken knowing I would not get to see that type of Christ centered service day in and day out.  His eyes, his focus, were always on the cross.

My friend, my mentor, my hero understands what having a heart like God looks like and he serves others endlessly showing them Jesus by serving them and meeting them where they are at.

Solomon was trying to be a chaser of God’s heart like his father, David. He understood that he needed that heart and drive to be a good leader. He asked God for wisdom; a discerning heart that would allow him to lead and serve the people of Israel.  He was following God.  He was a leader following the Leader of leaders.

Leadership is tough. It is a burden that we all carry and only few can handle. You will lead someone; point them in the right direction by chasing with all your being after Jesus.  Servanthood will change the future and create a hope in our youth.  Show them Jesus through serving and loving them with a heart for God.  If you do this you will have someone follow you and it will change their lives…it quite possibly will save their lives.

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