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C.B. Samuel’s Devotional Day 4: We Must Offer Hope Through Servant Leadership

November 12, 2019

In his last morning reflection at the World Evangelical Alliance’s 2019 General Assembly, C. B. Samuel highlighted the unique way in which the Kingdom of God offers hope, and about how Christian leaders can offer hope to others.

“Our world is desperately crying out for hope,” Samuel said. Noting that people frequently feel betrayed by leaders in the political and other realms, he contended that “a church that is discipled well becomes a demonstration of the Kingdom of God. That is why discipleship—training people not in competence, but in becoming more and more like people of the Kingdom—is essential.”

As his biblical text, Samuel used Ezekiel 34, in which God condemns the “shepherds of Israel” who cared only for themselves. He pointed out that the term “shepherd” referred to civil as well as priestly leadership.

“People love to hold on to leadership,” he stated. “But leadership is not an opportunity for you. It is always an opportunity for service.”

By contrast, Samuel cited the example of Gandhi, who, when he felt that his leadership responsibilities were causing him to fall out of touch with human pain, brought a man with leprosy to live next to him and dressed the man’s wounds each day.

Samuel cautioned Christian leaders against an over-dependence on management skills derived from corporate culture at the expense of servant leadership. He said that this problem frequently arises as an organization grows larger, with the result that Christian entities become “overmanaged and under-led.”

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