Tonight I am reading The Case for Servant Leadership by Kent Keith and thinking about how he contrasts a power-model of leadership (a model described as getting people to follow, strategizing for winning, and getting what you want) with a servant model of leadership (following our natural desire to serve for the betterment of others, whether it is washing dishes or leading out of poverty the focus is leader as servant). Studying leadership has some challenges in regard to how we move toward what is good for the many, in place of what is good for me. I remember as a child I was hyper-focused on what felt good for me. Not sure how else to say it. Yet, there are times when this still happens in my life. There are times I want to shut out the world and just focus on feeling good.
I was at dinner tonight and we were discussing community leadership. This is a subject that will likely become quite popular in the next months as we (CSA) prepare for the election of new leadership (Chapter of Election) after creating our community direction for the next four years, what we refer to as the Chapter of Affairs. We will spend nine days together tossing it all around and the days are both stimulating and long. As we discern our future together we will ask the Holy Spirit to guide our decisions and then hope we listen. Ideally we want leaders who are not functioning out of the power-model. This is not set-up to be a political rivalry between parties and we hope to maintain our commitment to CSA's mission as we discern. It is difficult to talk about leadership when we don't know what will be needed so I am always interested in how these conversations go as we surface names. The good news is there is not PAC money involved, nor are the lobbyists. We have only to open our hearts to the needs of our times. This is the servant piece as the sorting begins. I think it might be good to re-gather the group and discuss what we need as a community and what is being called forth from us at this time in history from society and the church. These questions seem to be pertinent to any conversation about leadership. I have ideas about this and did not think to bring it up tonight. Maybe it is time to shift the conversation a bit, shake-it-up some and dream big. After all it does seem that when we dream we find the seeds that God somehow planted in our hearts. I think of that quote, "What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" --Robert Schuller