“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions.
The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.
The best test, and the most difficult to administer, is this: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?”
View Robert K. Greenleaf on Wikipedia
Ten Characteristics of the Servant-Leader by Larry Spears
Listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community.
The highest type of ruler is one whose existence the people are barely aware. When his task is accomplished and things have been completed, all the people say, ʻWe ourselves have achieved it!ʼ
View Servant Leadership on Wikipedia
The Problem: Toxic Leadership
Business: You see it in business, when narcissistic executives build golden parachutes and steal from tomorrow to make today look good.
Academia: You see it in academia when professors forget the students in their march toward self-promotion and prominence in their field.
Religion: You see it in churches where the ministerʼs name appears above the saviorʼs.
Non-Profits: You see it in charities that put growth and recognition ahead of the needs of the suffering.
Government: You see it in government when politicians promote themselves over the needs of their constituents.
The difference is between leadership, and leadership by example.
The difference to me? Some leaders talk, and some leaders do.
Just got back to Columbus from a day trip over to Indy for a Digital Disciples meetup from 2-3:30 PM at the cafe inside of Fry’s Electronics. Neil Cox (who snapped this article’s photo) tapped my shoulder online, and brought up the idea of the Digital Disciples that have been meeting up in Columbus traveling over for a meetup he was organizing today. There were 3 of us that traveled over in the van together, surprised to see another from our Columbus show up by driving over around the same time!
I’ll blog more later about the topics that we discussed, but it was definitely worth the trip (for us 4 in Columbus and 1 coming up from Louisville, KY). Here’s a list of the 17 individuals that took some time out of their weekend to do more than just connect online. I would suggest connecting with / following all of them. If you want to see a few hundred more like us on Twitter, you can peruse a Twitter list of over 300 considered Digital Disciples around the globe or this Twitter list of those that have been profiled on the new website. Praise God for bringing us all together, and already having a plan for what lies ahead. Enjoy your day tomorrow, celebrating the resurrection of His Son – Jesus Christ!
Digital Disciples who attended today’s meetup:
FROM INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Neil Cox, Cheri Herron, Ellen Spencer, Kevin Good, Brian Barela, Brad Ruggles, Karl Kranich, Jim Alstott, David Szpunar, Cindy McClellan-Coleman, Barbara Cross, Michael Boler
FROM LOUISVILLE, KY
We had a great monthly meetup here in Columbus, OH this week. It was great to hear what God is doing in the lives of those that came. A common joke of ours is that we’re actually living more of an analog life by meeting up in person (not just chatting online, LOL). Some have asked our group here to video stream our gatherings live on the web for others to see. Something I have to chuckle at. It’s not like we’re putting on a show, and for some reason they’re missing one of the big points of the Digital Disciples movement – to not just connect online, but hang out and live life together in person. Wow, do people still do that?
And this Saturday a group of us here will taking a road trip to meet some other Digital Disciples in Indianapolis, IN (3 hour drive to the west). Our monthly gathering usually consist of hearing someone in the group share about a project, tool, etc. that they’re currently working on or think might be of interest. Then we usually conclude with a time of looking into God’s Word and opening up a few questions that correspond with the fast-paced life we’re trying to live (and praying for each other). This weekend will be the first time two cities with this same interest and mission meet find out what God might have for us next. Almost sounds like a trip taken by the disciples in the Old Testament, except they might not be bringing their gadgets along.
If you, or a friend of yours, lives in Indianapolis and would like to join us this Saturday at the cafe inside Fry’s Electronics (April 23rd at 2pm) – please use or send them this link for more info and to RSVP -> http://bit.ly/gyg2uW. Stay tuned for news about a monthly gathering starting up in Houston, TX…..and about Digital Disciples becoming a 501c3 non-profit organization. God is one the move!
Who are you?
I am an ideator, a communicator, a designer, and I’ve been blessed to do that within the faith-based non-profit arena all of my career. I began with a love of drawing, got into painting in college and found no use for computers beyond typing papers and email. When I interned at a community center in Los Angeles, God spoke through one of the older staff and informed my I was “wasting my talent,” by not doing digital design. I learned all I could about all the graphics software I could and within 2 years have developed a program to train at-risk urban youth in graphic design, web design, and video production, and find them internships in their field of interest.
Eventually, I was offered an opportunity to manage the communication efforts at a training organization for urban youth workers (UYWI). During the 5 years there, I was able to expand their efforts as a national organization, as I learned new technology to help equip, inspire and resource urban youth workers online and in print. Then 2 years ago, I was given the opportunity to lead the web efforts of The Evangelical Covenant Church denominational offices. It’s been challenging to work in an organization with so many moving parts and expectations, but my team has been able to deliver a cleaned-up, accessible website, mobile apps, and enhance a social media presence that may have been lacking before.
What makes you a Digital Disciple?
My passion for innovation and my desire for the Creator fuel my creativity and the tools to cultivate ministry opportunities. Bob Dylan said “you’re gonna have to serve somebody,” and because my lifestyle is digital, I want to lay all of me, including my technology, at Christ’s feet. The gifts and abilities He’s given me are displayed and realized most often using technology.
What website or technology has impacted you most?
Probably Photoshop was the first ripple for me. As a fine artist that transitioned to be a digital artist (especially in the mid to late 90′s), it was revolutionary.
Because I’m a designer-turned-webster, I do visual problem solving and WordPress has been the technology that for the last 5 or 6 years has evolved with my abilities to be able to make websites that people can maintain with limited knowledge. It’s been a great tool for so much of what I want to bring to life on the web and using it has helped me transition from the clunky html sites to content people can use themselves and take with them.
I find Photoshop and WordPress both to be necessary and transformation tools in my own digital journey.
How has your faith grown or been tested through technology?
My use of technology has made balance harder to achieve. I’ve found that I need to make time for the things that are important (God, family, life) and letting technology and the use of technology fill in whatever cracks are left.
Being someone who is visually oriented, I have easily been captured by using technology and losing track of time. Rather than focusing on real life, finishing my honey-do list, or doing devotions, it’s easy to fall into a mindset of, I’ll just play 30 minutes of Angry Birds, or spend time looking up apps, plugins, tools to enhance what is possible to do. Because I’ve put somewhat meaningless items first (technology or not), I haven’t given the items which should be highest priority, the priority they need given.
Other technologies, like the YouVersion Bible, certain iPhone apps, and digital technology discussions among believers enhance and challenge my faith in new and exciting ways. I see creatives and technology-minded people being on the forefront of the “next harvest” and that makes me excited for what the use of technology can bring.
Perseverance defined: To persist in or remain constant to a purpose, idea, or task in the face of obstacles or discouragement.
Here’s an interesting truth – Accomplishment and success are often the result of commitment and perseverance rather than skill or talent. I know I’m more proud of myself when I know others recognize what I have done. I’ve found myself at times not being open to things that God might want to do through me. Sort of like a child staring off into space when their parents are trying to discipline them, stopping them to show them a lesson that can be learned right where they are at.
Have you heard messages from the world that might get you out of a trying situation easily? A situation that God is using to shape you to be more of who He wants you to be.
Maybe using your time in ways that please you first or that only benefit you financially. Maybe you’re mind is lured by a product or service that will hurt you financially. Alcohol and drugs aren’t the only thing that eases pain. Sometimes I don’t realize how often I am not taking steps toward growing in my relationship with God.
Are there things that have tested your faith recently?
1 Peter 1:6-7
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Have there been times when God’s timing didn’t line up with your expectations?
1 Peter 4:12-13
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Instead of going to God, what do we turn to / create / accept that helps us escape being tested? Are there things that replace who God says He is (like in the verses below)?
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Does it feel better to overcome something that is more of a struggle? Or does our faith become lukewarm, making our soul content with who we’ve been in the past?
Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.