Tag Archives: servant leadership

360 Degree Leadership

[vimeo 6668133]

60 Degree Leadership from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.

A couple of weekends ago I went a delightful morning sailing on Strangford Lough, the largest inlet in the British Isles. It is a stark, beautiful, open stretch of water, surrounded by the rolling hills of County Down, in Northern Ireland. It was the first time I have been sailing since I was a teenager and learnt all about maritime navigation at school. Coming from a coastal town, I would often listen to the daily BBC shipping forecast the weather conditions around the British coastline. Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger Bank, Humber, Thames, Dover, White, St Catherine’s Head.  Now sitting in the stern of the yacht, waiting for my turn to steer, I was surprised at how sophisticated sailing has become. There was a digital compass and an impressive TV monitor displaying a real-time digital maritime map of Strangford Laugh. There was a depth gauge monitoring the river bed, and there was a speed gauge. There is a lot more to sailing these days than sticking a wet finger in the air, hoisting the sail and letting the wind take you where ever it wills. If you have a specific destination in mind, or want to come back, you have to take account of the numerous forces intent on driving you in other directions. There are the wind, the currents and the tide.  But there are also the weather conditions to consider, forecasts, the time, high tide, the current, the length of day light, the time of year, known underwater hazards, reefs, wrecks and cables. There are safety instructions, emergency procedures, maritime regulations and directions from the coastguards. You must also consider the location, speed, heading and experience of other boat users. You must employ 360 degree vision at all times. Now you may consider that all these dials, charts, regulations, hazards  and threats, take the fun out of sailing, but considering them ensure you will more likely make it to your destination alive. These days you have to be a 360 degree sailor. You need to be mindful of what is above you, what is below you and beside you, to the north, to the south, the east and the west.

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Servant Leadership – The Role of Church Leaders

Servant Leadership: John 13 from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.

A year or so ago I attended a celebration at Lambeth Palace. Besides the archbishop, there were many other bishops present and guests from all around the world. All there to honour a frail 90 year old gentleman who had them all in awe. Kenneth Cragg is the leading scholar in the world today on Islam and Christian mission in the Arab world. He has written 30 books, all of them classics using a typewriter. His words are so distilled you have to read each sentence several times to have any hope of understanding its meaning. After the Archbishop and various Bishops had expressed their appreciation, Kenneth spoke with humility and erudition about his love of the Lord Jesus Christ. He summed up his long life, his academic studies, his contribution to our understanding of Islam and interfaith relations in one sentence – “Confronted by the love of Christ, we have no choice.” I like that because it sums up why we are here, I hope: Confronted by the love of Christ we have no choice. No choice but to serve the one who in loving service gave his life to set us free. Serve the one who in loving service forgave our sins, who in loving service gave us eternal life. The apostle Paul explains it like this, “For Christ’s love compels us.” (2 Corinthians 5:14) For Christ’s love compels us. That is why we serve and that is why we are here.

On the night that he was betrayed, Jesus, “got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (John 13:4-5). Then, “when he had finished washing their feet [all 24], he put on his clothes and returned to his place. Do you understand what I have done for you? He asked them” (John 13:12). Do you understand what Christ has done for you?  Lets look at these verses in a little more detail for Jesus has provided us with a model.

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Photos from the Church Council Away Day