Quotation of the Week

Today I’m really tired, because we’ve been having a heat wave in southern California, and we spent most of the day yesterday moving offices at work. So I’m just going to make some observations about this topic.

Here’s what I observed: women helping the facilities guys move stuff. Women hauling carts piled high with stuff from pastor’s offices. Women moving boxes of pastors’ books (no small task). This appears to be an example of staff serving leaders.

There were some pastors moving their own things. There were no pastors moving other people’s things. There were no pastors moving the women’s things. What I did not see was serving leaders…

It just makes me wonder what all the discussion of “servant leadership” is about. We talk about it and write books about it, and it’s intriguing because it seems so “outside the box” and clever. But… what would it actually look like? When would you actually see it? 

From The View From Her 


  1. great observation! i’ve noticed the same thing in my church. i think it requires a conscious effort to be a servant by those who aren’t quick at grasping the needs of others.

  2. this just makes me sigh. Too much about the church these days just makes me sigh. thank God for people who aren’t afraid to just say it like it is and then compare it to Scripture. I thank God, and then I sigh…

  3. Our church owns a small “old” house that has been used as a rental for years. It has been vacant for awhile now and in need of repair. We recently decided to partner with an organization and make it available for transitional housing for a homeless mother and her six year old daughter. Our pastor personally went through the house and made a list of all that needed to be done to make it an acceptable and comfortable home (deep cleaning, painting, repairs, weeding and yard work, and new wall heaters, hot water tank and carpet). He then sent out a plea for help and there was a good response.

    He could have left it at that and let others actually “do the work”. (After all, September is a very busy month for pastors with the new ministry year beginning…and there were also people to visit, a memorial service to prepare for, and a conference to organize.) But he was at the house every evening last week working side by side with the other volunteers. And this mother and daughter moved into their new “home” on Saturday.

    I think it is good and helpful to be reminded of “missed opportunities for servant leadership”…but I also think it is good and helpful to acknowledge the times when we do “actually” see servant leadership in action.

  4. We definitely need to acknowledge both for sure! Sounds like a pastor who would sit in the hospital with you and hold the bowl…


  5. Thanks so much for the link. That post generated quite a lot of comments on my blog as well…apparently more of an issue than I even knew. I enjoyed reading the comments posted here, too. It’s been an interesting conversation.

  6. One person I’ve seen practice it is Steve Armfield, pastor of Thornapple Covenant Church in Michigan. He has been the senior pastor there since its start, nearly 30 years ago.

    I can’t remember meeting a more humble man, and I’ve seen him do this and that just like anyone else might do.

    I think what goes on in pastors’ minds is about what happened in Acts when the apostles were freed up to devote themselves to the word of God and prayer. Other works were given to those we would call deacons today, as you recall in that passage.

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