Lifting up servant leaders

February 13, 2017 at 6:00 AM

A medical professional from Mali checks the blood pressure of a patient during a recent visit to Dr. Bourama Sidibe's clinic.      (Photo submitted)

(Editor’s note: Dr. Bourama Sidibe is the director of Mission Saint Luc in Segou, Mali. He began his ministry to rural villages in the region in November 2015.) 

Lifting up servant leaders

By Bourama Sidibe

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” — Philippians 2:3-4

“But I am among you as the one who serves.” — Luke 22:27

The roles in which Christian doctors can serve God best are diverse and numerous, but today I want you to think about those in leadership.

God can be glorified by having His people in senior positions. Christian doctors can be greatly used in management, education, academic and clinical leadership roles. We should pray for our Christian elders that they do not fall into temptation, particularly with regard to pride or idolatry, but are rather able to humbly serve our God in their roles.

As younger people, we should not be afraid to stand out, to excel and to be different, and to move towards leadership roles ourselves. And yet at the same time, we must prayerfully guard our hearts.

Prayer: ‘Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. ‘Psalm 139:23-24

Do you seek excellence because it honors God or because you want a good reference? Do you seek promotion because you think you will be able to serve God more effectively from that position or because you would like the seniority and status that may come with that step? Do you stop to think about what your motives might be? Does it matter anyway?

One of the biggest crises of our present time is the lack of good leadership. Most leaders, seem to take up leadership with only one question on their minds: “What’s in this for me?”  This attitude manifests in the way they set themselves up above others.

Across the world, we hear stories of leaders without integrity, embezzling funds, selling organizational assets for personal gain, misusing power to harass others sexually and so on.

When Jesus walked along the streets of Galilee, He was just one in the crowd. The religious leaders found it so difficult to differentiate Jesus from His followers that they had to hire Judas to identify who Jesus was. His disciples were so comfortable with Him that they could lean on Him while sitting together on the floor around a meal, and ask Him tough questions.  Prostitutes and drunkards felt comfortable around Him, and thought of Him as a friend.  Jesus picked up a basin and towel and went around washing their feet.

His integrity was impeccable, and enemies had to hire witnesses to bring false charges against Him in court in order to put Him to death. His followers, too, did the same, like Timothy, who was known to look out for the welfare of others. (Phil 2:20).

The phrase ‘servant leadership’ originates in the Bible, where it is very different from the ‘servant leadership’ that we see in public life today. Servant leaders of the Bible, like Jesus, do not seem to have a hidden agenda. Instead, they genuinely asked those around them “What’s in this for you? How can I serve you better?”

Next story:

Choosing to be a servant