The Servant Leader as a Reflection of the Excellency of Christ – Introduction

“God, through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, has redeemed their distorted and feeble attempts to portray His image. The effects of the fall are being reversed…”

Richard D. Allen

While I had the privilege of studying for my master’s degree in South Korea, I also had the privilege of meeting so many people who impacted my life tremendously. One of them, Dr. Sang Bok David Kim, who was one of my teachers. I remember that after two years of study, I became critically ill; however, I attended classes normally, although on several occasions, I felt very, very weak, that I could hardly concentrate. Suddenly, while I leaned back on my desk for a while, I felt a hand patting me, followed by words full of sweetness, like a father speaking to his sick daughter. That was Dr. Kim, who stopped teaching his class, to come to my place and lift my spirits, amid the pain I faced.

Dr. Kim, a recognized leader in South Korea and beyond. President Emeritus of Torch Trinity Graduate University, Pastor Emeritus of Hallelujah Community Church, Global Ambassador of Transform World Network, among other important leadership positions; but, above all, a servant leader who reflected the character of Christ, leaving his academic platform and bending down to lift the heart of a student weakened by illness. A leader with a father’s heart!

But before one develops today´s topic, as always, it is important to mention that the English version of this article has been translated from the Spanish version of Towards Excellence (https://hacialaexcelencia.org/2022/09/11/el-lider-siervo-como-reflejo-de-la-excelencia-de-cristo-introduccion/); not necessarily from the original texts and works of authors here cited.

Thus, after this extensive but very necessary journey, it has been discovered and verified that the Triune Creator God is certainly the God of excellence. His character and His creation evidence so.

Therefore, this extensive previous study has allowed us to lay the foundations for the following analysis and discussion, and which will focus on what concerns Christian leadership, whose actors are certainly bearers of the image and likeness of God, and consequently are challenged to be an example of excellence in their sphere of influence.

Starting from this premise, we now consider it appropriate to quote Genesis again:

Gen1-28_eng“Then God said, ´Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.´ So, God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ´Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.´”

Erickson, taking the above passage as a reference, highlights that the human being has a unique place in creation; and not only that, but he has been placed above it; in fact, he has dominion over it. He also adds that our value as humans is great, because we are the highest of creatures except angels.[1]

On the other hand, Richard D. Allen, in his book “The Genesis Principle of Leadership: Claiming and Cultivating Your Created Capacity” states that each person possesses in equal proportion the attributes imparted by God in the incredible act of creation; and that leadership characteristics emerge from God-given attributes. Therefore, as each human being, men and women, is created in the image of God, this means that they possess equal capacity and full potential for effective leadership. Thus, when we human beings reflect the created attributes of God, then we are leading.[2]  And Allen further emphasizes:

“Your call to bear the image of God has a profound impact on the way you approach the task of leadership. As His image bearer, God commands him to be a leader. ´Rule!´ From the very creation of the world, you have been commanded to exercise dominion, to lead over all creation…You must lead God’s creation but only in a way that is consistent with His character – His attributes” . (Allen 2008)

And continuing with this interesting study of Allen, it is appropriate to highlight that God’s mandate, His commission since Genesis, has not changed at all. His mandate is in effect to fill the earth with His glory and rule over it. Now, there is a great obstacle that has appeared in the way, and that great obstacle is sin. It has wreaked havoc, impeding our ability to faithfully fulfill God’s command. It has perverted the pure and righteous attributes that God entrusted to humanity since creation. And it seems that everything reached a point of hopelessness. Fortunately, as Allen says, the biblical story does not end there, with the fall of man, condemned to a futile and hopeless struggle to be the bearer of the image of God, without any success. We see rather that a great door is opened, and God’s created attributes are redeemed![3]   So Allen specifies:

Man strive hand to a God

“God, through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, has redeemed their distorted and feeble attempts to portray His image. The effects of the fall are being reversed…Through Christ, you have been reinstated, newly commissioned to be God’s image-bearing leader…You are to fill creation with the glory of God reflecting His righteous government through leadership that you exert on your corner of creation.” (Allen 2008)

With this in mind, and understanding that as God’s creation, all human beings have received the call to rule over creation; consequently, to lead; it is important now that we focus on the study of Christian leadership, the focus of this research. Thus, stay tuned!

[1] Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003), 512-513.

[2] Richard D. Allen, The Genesis Principle of Leadership: Claiming and Cultivating Your Created Capacity (Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC, 2008), 23-24.

[3] Richard D. Allen, The Genesis Principle of Leadership: Claiming and Cultivating Your Created Capacity (Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC, 2008), 44-45.

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