Mission takes place via ‘servant-leaders’.

I have strong feelings about this term. That it is best described for our times by Robert K. Greenleaf. If the urban mission is to happen it will be by servant-leaders. A few thoughts here about what servant-leadership is and isn’t.

The servant does your will.

The leader either gets and makes you to do their will.

The servant-leader? Seeks God’s will for others. Thus seeing what could be, then does what can be done on earth for it to take place. For, as Greenleaf is certain of, the servant-leader is servant-first.

The servant only? There is no change, it is serving action which sustains a status quo.

Leader only? The same, the only variation being that it is the status quo world as realized in the leader’s interior kingdom.

Servant-leader? change, for it is now the will of God, the realization of the kingdom of God. Even when it is such a tiny start. Leaven. Mustard seed. Transformation, renewal, restoring as it once was, to become again the created wholeness of the beginning. “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

Servant-leaders are needed in urban settings. The systems of cities call out to be challenged. So that all will have a place in the 21st century’s dawning Urban Millennium. Including the marginalized and the vulnerable.

It is only in this way that shalom will come to the city. To those who are the least. And to those who may suspect contrary to appearances that they are not the most. Cities can become very good places. Where we really do need each other.