I have been thinking about what it means to serve as opposed to work and how that ties into our definitions of leadership. There have been a lot of books writting and conferences attended on the issue of leadership, but we really don’t need to look any farther than Jesus to figure out what it means to lead through service. As the ultimate leader with people following him some 2,000 years past his death, he pretty much show us all we need to know. (see my reflections on John 13 as my definition of serving)
I know those who define leadership as the ability to determine direction for a group of people. That’s part of it, to be sure, but only part. You can work your tail off to make a group of folks function successfully but if you’re not serving them in a loving way, your work will be in vain (see 1 Cor. 13).
This is an especially important distinction to recognize in working with folks in a ministry setting. If one person is working and another serving, there will be conflict and disrespect.