Have you thought about what is takes to be a truly effective servant leader? I believe some of the keys are character, competence, charisma, chemistry, and priorities and concentration.
A person who knows his or her priorities but lacks the concentration to implement anything knows what to do but never gets it done. If her or she concentrates but has no priorities, they may have excellence without progress or accomplishment. But when they harness both, they have the potential to achieve great things. A friend and colleague of mine and his wife illustrate these principles by the choices they have made to serve in campus ministry.
Harvey Herman got introduced to campus ministry right after college and seminary in the early 1970’s in Springfield, Missouri. A friend named Sally (who later became his wife) was a catalyst for his early involvement where he saw the vibrancy of committed relationships + intentional discipleship + creative witness + the power of the Holy Spirit. Harv recognized his interest and gifts could work well in a secular college environment and soon moved to Iowa to pioneer a state-wide circuit approach in concert with several Assembly of God pastors located around major campuses like Iowa State and the University of Iowa. 2 Timothy 2:2 had begun.
He and Sally relocated to the University of Nebraska for almost a decade in the 1980’s and built one of the flagship ministries of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries. Their efforts at reaching a campus through building and establishing healthy Christian community and developing a reproducing student leadership pipeline contributed to deep impact in Cornhusker territory.
They moved back to Springfield, MO in the early 1990’s so Harv could serve as the National Director of Training for Chi Alpha, a role he thrived in. Then they moved to Washington D.C. in 1999 to help pioneer and grow the DC Project. Sally served as the coordinator for Metro DC Chi Alpha while Harv pioneered a Campus Missionary in Training (CMIT) effort to train and release new campus missionaries for the Northeast United States. In addition, Harv built bridges to Assemblies of God denominational leaders in the Northeast while helping support and focus the Chi Alpha personnel there as the Northeast U.S. Area Director. Much more fruit was evident.
Finally, Harv and Sally moved to Charlottesville, VA a few years ago so he could again serve as the National Director of Training. Consider a few lessons I have observed in Harv and Sally:
First, effective leaders reach their potential by spending time focused on what they do well. For the past 40 years, Harv and Sally invested in staff and student leaders, who reproduced what they saw in Scripture (and the Herman’s) and transgenerational leadership + global influence resulted.
Second, growth equals change. Harv and Sally model that if you want to get better, you have to take responsibility to keep improving. Through various stages of life and places of leadership (including Sally’s work as a nurse), they have stepped into new arenas of risk, challenge, and learning. Harv completed a Doctor of Ministry degree a few years back because he wanted to deepen his knowledge about leadership and broaden his effectiveness as a servant leader.
Remember that in life, work, marriage, family, and leadership, if you are through growing, you are finished. Growth does not come easy and it is your responsibility. Follow the example of the Herman’s. Serve globally. Set your priorities and concentrate on your strengths today.
Love is a verb,
©2013 by Mike Olejarz