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On Becoming A Servant Leader Pt. 8
Stats: 3,873 words / Reading Time: 19.37 mins

Published: Saturday 28th March 2020

On Becoming A Servant Leader Pt. 8 is read 531 times on CentreNDL.org 531

On Becoming A Servant Leader Pt. 8

How To Lead Change And Change Societal Culture

Today we will continue our series: On Becoming A Servant Leader and we want to focus today on; How To Lead Change And Change Societal Culture. How you can lead change and change societal culture as a servant leader? You see, quite a number of things could be done by anybody anywhere in the world. But what determines the quality of what we do, or what affects the aptitude of how we do it is what we are considering. While there are many people who are leaders today, there are different kind of leaders. Under the general name of leadership, we have so many people who are leading. However; people are leading as different things in different contexts, employing different methods.




Our focus in Leaderview over the past few weeks has been Servant Leadership. We want to see how you and I could become servant leaders in our own generation. And we were very clear in stating that servant leaders are different from other leaders because they are primarily servants who had the opportunity to lead as servants. So, they see themselves as servants and then they lead the people as servants. Service is core in their perspective of leadership. They are not in leadership to enjoy or to accumulate so much. They are in leadership so that they could serve their generation, they could serve their team, they could serve their families with the gifts that they have, the opportunities that they have as well. So, when you make such a person to have access to money, such a person will serve others with the money that he or she has. Whereas there are other leaders who find themselves with money and see it as an opportunity to accumulate wealth. Now, how you see leadership is very important in determining how you actually function as a leader. If you understand leadership to be actually about service, then you will be a servant in that leadership. It is not just enough to have the desire for you to be the servant leader, it is important you go through with us what we have been considering towards your own emergence as servant leader in your own generation.


Don't call yourself a servant leader , wait till when people start referring to you as a leader who serves. Allow people to begin to contribute their opinion, to begin to say things about you. Wait for people to praise you before you praise yourself. Don't  forget, the goal is that you become a servant leader in your own generation. Wherever you are, at whatever level you could be; it is important you put on the heart of a servant even though you have the responsibility or an opportunity to lead a people.


Today we want to consider, learning from the life of Nehemiah, how we could become effective servant leaders and how we could change our societal culture by leading the change. So, the focus is how to lead change and change societal culture. Let us go to the book of Nehemiah chapter 13, if you could go through the entire chapter, that will be fine. But for the purpose of our own consideration, I will read a few verses there. But you might need to go through the entire chapter to gain a broader view of the whole story. How To Lead Change And Change Societal Culture On Becoming A Servant Leader. Nehemiah chapter 13 and I will read from verse 1-3.


"On that day they read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people, and in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever come into the assembly of God, 2 because they had not met the children of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them. However, our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3 So it was, when they had heard the Law, that they separated all the mixed multitude from Israel."


Now, if you must understand, there was a reference made concerning what has been written in the law of Moses: No Ammonite and Moabite should be allowed in the assembly of God's people, in the assembly of the people of Israel. However, at the moment, when this writing was done, there were many Ammonite and Moabite in their midst. The question is: what happened? Was the law not known or was it disobeyed? Now when there are incidences or break of the law, or breaking of the law, when there are incidences where the law is not followed, what happens is disorder or disorderliness in such a society. It is possible to have a society where there is a written law but nobody wants to follow it. At this moment, there was a scenario where there were mixed multitudes among the Jews, among the children of Israel.


Different people, who were not supposed to be with them; were with them. And you know, when you have a mixed multitude, you cannot predict the pattern of behavior of the people because different people will produce different behavior. Now, what happened was that in order to address this, there was a need for the people to be reminded what was written before. One of things that I have observed which will guide our consideration today towards you becoming a leader of change, towards you becoming the one who is able to change the culture of your society is that there must be a deep awareness in you of the past of the people, of the present of the people and of the future of the people.


You cannot change a people when you are ignorant of their past, completely ignorant of their current state and you have no clue about where they will be or who they will be. You don't have any idea about the days ahead of them. Now, into what would you change them? What would you change their circumstance into if you have no idea of where they are coming from, where they are and where they must go? Because change is all about relocation of posture, of positioning and or orientation. Now, if you cannot actually vouch or claim that you have an idea of where these people are coming from, how would you actually predict where they must go or where they are? So, if you must change a people, then you must be knowledgeable about the law, the traditions and the culture of the people. How they emerge, where they are right now and where they must go to. And so, as a leader of change; you will then guide yourself with that information, with that understanding, and then you show a pattern or a direction for others to follow. And you are not just talking because you love to talk, but you are guided by your understanding, by your awareness of where they are coming from, where they are and where they must go to.


Now, for these people of Israel; they began a journey with God and God gave them strict instruction "don't allow the Ammonite and the Moabite in the assembly of you people." However, because they lost touch with their history; they did not know who they were even though they had gotten to a situation where there are mixed multitude among them, they could not find any solution. It takes a man like Nehemiah to lead them into that solution, to lead them into that change. Why? He knew the history and that is very important for us.


Now, something happened again. In verse 4 downward. The Bible says: "Now before this, Eliashib the priest, having authority over the storerooms of the house of our God, was allied with Tobiah." Now if you remember, Samballat and Tobiah were the people that were opposing the peace, the prosperity of Judah, of Israel and of the people of Israel. Now, this man who was given a leadership responsibility to manage the storerooms, to have an oversight of the resources in the house of God, he was aligning with the enemies of the people of God. Verse 5 says:


"And he had prepared for him a large room, where previously they had stored the grain offerings, the frankincense, the articles, the tithes of grain, the new wine and oil, which were commanded to be given to the Levites and singers and gatekeepers, and the offerings for the priests."


Now let us go to verse 10 so that you will see the implications of what they did. The implication of that priest who had an oversight of the resources of the house of God aligning with the enemy of the people.


"I also realized that the portions for the Levites had not been given them; for each of the Levites and the singers who did the work had gone back to his field. 11 So I contended with the rulers, and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their place. 12 Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the storehouse. 13 And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouse Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah; and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were considered faithful, and their task was to distribute to their brethren."


You see, when there is an incident in which what is meant to be shared round and given to those who are working in the house of God, the resources of God that is meant to be shared among God's people is being embezzled by a fraction of a people or by certain people who wants to just indulge themselves, what normally occurs is that there is always a neglect or suffering of the people who were expected to be taken care of by such provision. So, you could see that clearly, the society that Nehemiah met was a society that was filled with corruption, embezzlement and all manner of vices. Towards restoring and bringing peace and prosperity towards the people, he needed to frown at the people who were being corrupt and corrupting the system and he showed an example of what must be done.


He said "I contended with the people, the rulers." He contended with them, and why was he doing that? Because he wanted to change the culture. That is what they call the new normal. You see, when there is a normal thing and because over a very long time, there has been a departure from the normal into abuse, into misuse and all manner of things, what happens over time is that there is now

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what we call "A new normal." Because it is now a new normal, there is a great tendency for it to be accepted generally by the people. Even though the people are not happy, but they still accept it. So, it is possible for a people to have a way of life which we call culture which is a new norm, a culture that is just recently adopted simply because no one had any alternative or option. No one had any choice.


Now, if you must actually fulfill your destiny as a servant leader in your generation, in your organization, in your team, in your society and community, it is important that you stand for those who have no voice, for those who have no standing; you speak for those who have no voice. And how do you do that? You must arm yourself with the understanding of where the people came from, what was the ideal, even though they have come to a present reality which is unpalatable, you must have a clear picture of where they must get to. You must see clearly who they must become. You must see the kind of life they must live. Of course, they are living a life today that is below standard, below the ideal, you as a leader, one who wants to lead change, must have a clear view of who they must become, what must happen to the in days to come. And so, what do you do? You lead them into it. You command those that must be commanded, you command change.


You see, if you leave people to themselves, the current would not want to change. If you leave people to themselves, the new normal would want to be accepted or would be accepted as the ideal whereas they are actually suffering and smiling. And so, you must command the change. You must enforce change. As you see it in your mind, you see it in your spirit, you must bring it into reality. It might not be easy for them, and also not being easy for you. But over time, when the ideal is restored back, when the new normal is being replaced with the old normal, when the perfect plan is being executed, the people will praise you and appreciate you for it. Don't forget, your goal is not to enrich your pocket or to fatten up your bank account. Your goal is to serve the people serve the purpose of God in the midst of your people. Your goal is to make the lives of the people better. And so, if you must do that, you must learn in spite of the prevalence of corruption in your society to command the change that you have created.


The first thing is to create change, and how do you do this? Arm yourself with the understanding of the history of the people, get a full awareness of where they are; take a deep and a correct inventory of their current state and have a clear view of who they must become, where they must get to, and where their society including your society must look like. And once you have done that, you must command the change. You must speak for the change, and you must lead the change. At a point again, the children of Israel were getting married to a different tribe, a different people to the point that they were giving birth to could no longer speak the language of Judah, they were speaking different things. Now, let me read verse 25. It says:


"So I contended with them and cursed them, struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, “You shall not give your daughters as wives to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons or yourselves. 26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things?"


Did you see what he did? He actually challenged the people that were into the acts, people that were comfortable engaging in all forms of marriage. And he told them "have you forgotten how Solomon your king actually sinned against God because he married wives he was not supposed to marry? Don't you learn from your own history?" And that is it! If you must lead change, and change your societal culture, you must arm yourself with the history of the people, the present reality and the future that you see in your spirit. Based on that, you must then lead the change. How do you do that? You must speak for the change, you must canvass for the change, you must promote the change and you must enforce the change, and I see your society, including mine as well; becoming better for it.


It is important that you understand. Folding your hands in the midst of problems and decadence in your society has no possibility or no promise of making the lives of your people better. You cannot fold your hands. You must get on to work and all hands must be on deck. You must bring your hands into the table and contribute your effort. There is something you can do about your situation. Towards salvaging it and changing the societal culture, there is something you can do. You cannot be too calm about it, you must be strong about it, you must be able to enforce the change, pray for the change and be able to speak for the change.


Don't forget, people will not want to change if there is no external pressure applied unto them. Everything remains in the state of rest until an external force is applied to it. Become that external force, let your voice become that external force that must be applied to every status quo of your society, in your organization and in your family. And your society will be better for it, God will be glorified for it, and your legacy will be a lasting one for it.


Thank you for the gift of your time, this is the end of our series On Becoming A Servant Leader. I believe you are fully armed, fully ready to unleash the grace of God on your life towards salvaging and towards serving the people. You must put on the heart of a servant even in that responsibility given to you. Don't allow title to guide you, be driven from your within. Allow your heart to guide you, allow the Holy Spirit to guide you; become a leader who is not a terrorizing leader, a tyrannical leader. Become a leader who serves as Jesus said "I am one among you as one who serves." Become a servant leader and your generation will thank God for it.


God bless you.

Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Gboyega Adedeji!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony with me in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!

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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.


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