Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Do you feel like you need to be an “Expert” to lead?
Our society today might want you to believe that. You have to be the smartest, equipped with all the tools at your disposal, to lead. You must be an expert in marketing, in finance, in human resources, in operations….The Full Package!
Jesus did not come down from heaven as a ready-made leadership expert. He was a humble carpenter, a novice leader. Servant leadership is not about being an expert.
Jesus gave clear instructions to His senior leaders when they were arguing about who was the greatest among them. He re-framed their understanding of what great leaders look like with His response:
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
We can learn a lot about servant leadership from children. I have written in the past about leadership insights I have received from my grandchildren. My latest mentor in leadership is my Grandniece, Remy.
About a month ago when Remy was 4 weeks old, her small intestine got twisted up for no known reason. That necessitated an airlift down to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis and an emergency surgery to save her life and as much of her intestine as possible.
Since that time she has been a warrior, fighting through the challenges on the journey towards recovery and full health. She is still in the battle, but she is teaching many lessons along the way — lessons I think Jesus was talking about when He asked us to “become like little children”.
Servant Leadership lessons from Remy and her journey:
Every day is a new day.
Remy has proven to be a warrior in her quest to conquer each new day. She doesn’t spend any time thinking about the past and the significant challenges that she faced the day before. For her it is all about being present in the moment.
Thanks Remy, for teaching me to step into each new day, being fully present to tackle the task at hand with a vengeance to create a preferred future.
Efficiency is a necessity.
Remy has dealt with multiple issues since that first flight to the hospital and her initial emergency surgery. For the caregivers, every second mattered in the early stages of this situation. It was clear the teams at Alomere Health and Children’s Hospital were well schooled in the importance of practicing to be efficient, because it can mean life or death. Remy, too, continues to address the challenges put in her path efficiently, working with her parents and care team to just keep moving forward, with as little hesitation as possible.
Thanks Remy, for teaching me there are going to be major issues that I will encounter as a leader or parent that will need to be addressed immediately and with a great deal of efficiency and focus. I need to be well prepared in how to react for those times.
Allow people to serve you.
Remy has needed help to survive, and her parents and their family have needed support to help them support their sweet daughter. The family, friends, co-workers, and people who don’t even know Remy who’ve responded to help in numerous ways leaves a person speechless.
Thanks Remy, for teaching me that there will be times that no matter how self-sufficient I feel I am, I must allow others to serve me. Asking for help is a great gift. People want to help. Opening up and being vulnerable with your needs gives them the opportunity to provide true and meaningful value.
Allow people to play out their strengths.
The professional staff at Children’s Hospital who has been serving Remy since her arrival is second to none. Their heart for serving children in their time of greatest need is phenomenal. It can only be driven by a calling and great personal purpose. Remy and her parents have trusted this team of professionals to do their work, knowing they have her best interest in mind.
Thanks Remy, for teaching me to allow people that are closest to the action to be in control of the goal in what needs to be done, and when. I need to trust them and allow them to do their great work.
Show appreciation for those that are serving you and making a difference in your life.
Once Remy got off the life-support and sedation medication, one of the first things she did was give her parents a big smile. At 8 weeks old you don’t have a lot of ways to communicate, but Remy’s smile at that point was priceless to her parents, family, and caregivers, all of whom had been by her side, supporting her 24×7 through this journey.
Thanks Remy, for showing that gratitude can provide life to others beyond what you can imagine. It can be given in some of the subtlest ways, yet it is the fuel that keeps your team going!
Most things are not a science!
Everything that happens in this world cannot always be explained. We want answers. Why did this happen? Remy doesn’t seem to be concerned about that, but the rest of us do.
Thanks Remy, for illustrating the importance of depending on God to be the ultimate go-to for decision-making. As the Creator of all things, His plan is best, and I know I want to put my dependence on Him over any human being. And in the process I just might build a closer relationship with my living God, Jesus.
Be patient, and always put the outcome in God’s hands.
All of Remy’s family and friends, and above all her parents, want her progress towards healing to accelerate in the quickest possible fashion. But the doctors keep saying that Remy is in charge, and she will dictate the pace. Throughout this journey, she has seemed at peace. A peace that can clearly only come from God.
Thanks Remy, for teaching me to be patient even when I want to move things forward at a faster pace. Clearly God’s timing is best, and I need to be patient and learn from the journey that He has me on.
The final chapter is not yet written with Remy. Her life still is, and always will be, in God’s able hands. What I do know is that in her 9 weeks on this earth, she has already positively impacted many people in this world. That is servant leadership. I can’t wait to continue to learn more from her as the years go on.
For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Love this Mark for sharing meaning in difficult times. You are inspiring ❤️
Thanks so much Jean, I would certainly say the same for you! Blessings on the great work you are doing!!
Mr. Deterding……….what a spot on message for everyone. Especially #7. Thank you for having the courage to share Remy’s story with all of us. Please give her parents and family a hug and know we’ll be praying for them.
Sure appreciate your wisdom.
Thanks Mark. I will definitely share the hug with them, and I can’t tell you how much we covet and appreciate your prayers! Blessings on your day!
Thank you Mark for a wonderful story of Bravery, determination, patient and a well to live with joy.
You’re most welcome Mike. Thank you for your never ending inspiration and love for the Lord! Blessings on your day.
Thank you Mark for helping us all to pause and remember that Servant Leadership takes many forms. God has so many ways to continue our growth and development. Prayers for Remy and her parents. I love the piece about her smile being her form of appreciation…how beautiful. Bless you and this family!
You’re welcome Kristi. You are so right, it is amazing to see how God works to help all of us grow and develop. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate your prayers. It really means a lot, and is making a big difference in so many ways! Blessings to you as well on all the phenomenal work you are doing!
Wow, what a great message Mark! I appreciate you sharing this. It give an awesome perspective on Servant Leadership. I pray the Lord will watch over Remy and her family!
Thanks Craig, I appreciate your feedback, and especially your prayers for Remy and her family! Blessings to you and your family this Christmas season!!