I am reading a book named “the Empowered Leader, 10 Keys to Servant Leadership.” This book was written by Calvin Miller. At the beginning of each chapter there is a letter from the follower to the leader. There is a comment in letter 1, that I find very interesting. “I am looking for a pastor who really believes that he who is greatest among you must be your servant (see Matthew 20:26). For me, Jesus abandoned His need for CEO status that night he knelt with a basin and towel and started washing feet. This is a modern age and all that, but I’m not looking for a pastor with an eelskin briefcase and matching Daytimer. I am far more eager to follow that leader who is unashamed to carry a basin and towel. That’s the person who lives as Jesus lived.” The point of this letter is the follower is tired of Pastors starting as a leader, and finishing as a boss, “tending to their religious machines, ordering them to produce growth.”
I am not using this as an indictment against the modern pastor, it is something that God has used to challenge me. What is my role as a professor in the classroom? Am I to be a boss or a leader. If my role is boss, then I will work hard to make sure students pay attention by closing students laptops if it appears they are surfing the web or sending emails. Or I may want them to be quiet and pay complete attention to me, because I am the only one who knows anything. It seems to be this type of environment is detrimental to what I want to see in the student’s life and in my classroom. If I play the role of a leader, then I will challenge the student to think differently. I will prepare classroom events that engage different learning styles. I will ask the students challenging questions that help them learn how exciting it is to learn! These are things that are important to me, things that I have been taught over the years that have been beneficial to my growth.
If I am going to put a towel on and take a basin to wash my students feet and serve I need to be prepared and willing to love. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. What does it mean to be a leader in the classroom?