- April 14, 2014
- By Jeff Johnson, BGCT President
Have you ever stood in a ski-lift line for 45 minutes, waiting to catch a chair that will take you to a black diamond death run down Peak 9? Or plodded in line for a ride at Disney World? Or joined scores of people with baggage in a line that snakes toward two ticket agents at the airport? And then a VIP or a rich person who’s paid more money or something, or someone who knows someone jumps to the front of the line, bypassing all of us who’ve been waiting with reasonable patience for our turn.
I recently purchased an EZ-Pass toll tag for my car, in order to expedite my trip home when I have to go to the big city. They call it the “rush hour.” What a joke. The microchip tag sticks to the inside of my windshield and contains pertinent data that eases my way. An antenna quickly reads my electronic data as my car zooms on through the toll plaza. A computer automatically deducts the appropriate toll tax from my account. This computerized collection system then sends a monthly statement to my wife’s email, with tallies of times and places for our records.
Do you remember when Jesus kind of tells us we are jammed up on the wrong side of the idea? I have it all wrong if I think the first will be first and the last will be last. The last will be first, and the first shall be last. The greatest among us? The servant of all.
What do servant-leaders look like? Steve Vernon, our Baptist General Convention of Texas associate executive director, and his team, Judy Hackler and Debbie Moody. They “herd cats” like Texas Baptist pastors, committee members, councils and the BGCT Executive Board. They get things done on time and done right. They work tirelessly behind the scenes. They are people who embrace both the concept of serving others and serving Someone greater and beyond themselves.
With the possible exception of pastors at church potlucks, no leader gets an EZ-Pass. Whoever wants to be a leader among us must be a servant to all the rest. A true spiritual leader serves first, and by serving leads—through example.
Steve, Judy and Debbie are people who understand the importance of awareness, listening, empathy and building Texas Baptist community. They understand it isn’t about them. It’s about you—our Texas Baptist family.
Jeff Johnson is president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and pastor of First Baptist Church in Commerce.