I had the opportunity to attend the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit last Thursday and Friday. I found it extremely valuable as I felt all the speakers delivered excellent content on leadership development.

I especially enjoyed the transformational message from Pastor Albert Tate.

He spoke on the story in John 6 of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish that a young boy had brought to the gathering. Here are the servant leadership highlights that I took from Pastor Tate’s message:

“Dumb Ideas” + God’s Power = Life Changing Transformation

  • Knowing the people were hungry, Jesus inquired of his disciples on where they could buy bread for all these people. Philip answered that it would take a half year’s wages to just give each person a bite of bread. Andrew, however, mentioned to Jesus that there was a boy that had brought some food with him to this big gathering of people. He knew it wouldn’t be near enough but he still presented the idea to Jesus.
  • Lesson – We should never doubt the power of God. No question or idea is too dumb to mention. If we lean on Jesus for any and all challenges he can make it work! May God’s will be done.

Always Pack Your Lunch

  • This boy packed his lunch as normal that day, having no idea that he would be part of a miracle to feed 5,000 families. He came prepared and contributed what he could.
  • Lesson – We should always show up with our best we have to offer. We may not think it is much, but God can turn whatever talents, and efforts we provide into major accomplishments! God appreciates our efforts on His behalf.

Bring Your Best and Get Out of the Way

  • Once the boy handed over his lunch he is not mentioned again in these verses. He provided what he had and stepped aside.
  • Lesson – When we step out of the way and allow God to do his work, we are able to see the magnificence of God, allow ourselves to be blown away, and give God the glory he deserves. God likes humble leaders.

Leave with Leftovers

  • After Jesus miracle of feeding the 5,000 families there were 12 baskets of food leftover from the original five loaves and two fish.
  • Lesson – What is limited in our hands is not limited in God’s hands. Servant leaders do not live outside the walls of God, but instead take joy in the feast of the Lord. Jesus made the way for us to participate in the abundance of God. God wants us to have something leftover.

As servant leaders we are charged to Build Performance. Many times the task seems too tall and out of our reach. I think this is intentional on God’s part. It helps us recognize that we need Jesus’ help to get over the bar. Always be sure to “Pack Your Lunch”, turn it over to God, get out of the way, and enjoy God’s abundance!

Mark Deterding

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.  John 6:10-11