‘Mentoring’ is often thought of as the transfer of wisdom from a wise and trusted counselor to the one who is under one’s care. A mentor cares about his or her learner and goes out of the way to see that the learner gets the best possible model to blossom to their full potential. It involves teaching, coaching, and helping to build a high degree of confidence. But what brings out the full magic of mentorship is the love that undergirds the relationship. Real servant leadership is about giving without the expectation of receiving. It’s not an incremental change; it’s a complete paradigm shift. It also requires humility to learn from the learner as well!
Many of us struggle with this because we believe that we have answers for everything! Making this leap requires a certain level of vulnerability. Servant Leadership is exercising real, godly leadership, as Christ did when He used a towel! Being a leader is never a force of personality; it is earning that respect because we love and care.
Self-centered agendas, and ulterior motives are opposites. Though these types of leadership models may be the common approach, they will fragment, and even destroy a fellowship. The leadership for the fellowship must come from the Jesus model, not the business model! Rotten leadership is more destructive. It seeks its own, and not the Word. Jesus took a towel and washed His disciple’s feet. This is an act we can easily glance over, missing its significance. But this was God, Creator of the universe, performing the lowest job in that culture – washing someone’s feet. He said, “For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.” (Luke 22:25-28).
Servant Leaders know how to lead themselves and others in order to bring others closer to the heart of God so as to worship and glorify Him! Servant leaders are not willing to compromise the truth or the Word just to be more effective! Servant leaders listen to everyone, not just the ones in power or ones who have the influence! Servant leaders are extremely important! They know that the effectiveness of their life, empowerment and openness will determine the effectiveness of the mentoring.
UESI’s focus area for the next two academic years (2017-2019) will be “Mentoring Servant Leaders.”More than being a servant leader, mentoring a servant leader is a challenging task as one has to be open to share his/her very life as a model and be vulnerable!
As student leaders, graduates and staff we need to prayerfully decide how we would make ourselves available before God. Unless we have already become truly servants, we will be merely teaching about mentoring through training sessions, workshops and books. Those who are under us also will merely come to know “about” servant leadership and they will also faithfully teach others! Since they have not seen “servanthood’ in us, our mentoring effortsX will only be useful for reporting. The future of UESI will depend on how we develop our leaders – through workshops programmes and books or through our very lives!
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