4 Essentials of King-like Service

4 Essentials of King-like Service
King2013

Photo courtesy of BlackEnterprise.com

Today, many around the country and many others around the world will take part in a day of remembrance and service in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King.  I’ve said for many, many years that Dr. King tops my list of the greatest Americans.  His life’s work, his strategic leadership on behalf of the oppressed, and his supreme sacrifice place him in a sphere that only few other leaders can even begin to approach. No other public figure has had a greater impact on my life!  Later this morning, I’ll be serving with Samaritan’s Feet International to bless 300 Minneapolis kids.  We’ll wash their feet, give them a new pair of shoes, and pray with them and their families.  I’ve never done this before, and I’m very excited about the opportunity!

As I prepare to serve this morning, I wanted to spend a moment reflecting on a few of the attributes that I aspire to daily as I work to live out the Gospel and carry on the prophetic work of great leaders like King. 

  • Courage – I pray regularly that I would have courage to see what is happening in the world around me and have the fortitude to respond well.  Sometimes, responding well demands an act of compassion, a simple encouragement, speaking up for someone else, or denying myself some bit of comfort.  At other times, responding well means identifying and working to dismantle systems and traditions that feed into cycles of oppression and inequality.  Whatever the case, I want to have the courage to speak up, even when being quiet seems easier.
  • Communication – We all communicate.  I don’t think that we all, necessarily, understand how to communicate well, though.  Some people are born with this gift.  Others acquire it over time.  When nature and nurture are combined, we get leaders who know what to say AND how to say it.  Lose either of these two dynamics, and you can have a rough road ahead.  I strive to know what to say, when to say it, and how to say it.  As I’ve come into my early 30’s, I’ve even realized that sometimes, keeping my mouth shut says more than enough. Now that’s a mouthful!
  • Character – I can admit that leadership fascinates me and that I spend a lot of time studying leaders.  Because of this, I’ve witnessed many powerful, influential leaders lose their way (and voice) because of moral failings.  This terrifies me! Perhaps more than anything else, I find myself daily asking God to give me character that will not disqualify me from the work and the blessings that He has for me.  Perfection is not something I’ve ever known, but I can say without reservation that my outward work is only possible because of my inward relationship.  This leads me to my final attribute…
  • Christ – Both the foundation and the goal of my work is wrapped up in Jesus Christ. I am what I am because I have consciously chosen to allow Christ to lead my life.  I do what I do because it is a part of His command to me – Love God, Love People.  As I grow as a leader, as a husband, as a father, I do it all to the Glory of God!

So what are the attributes that you aspire to as you go about your day?  I’d love to hear from you!

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