Servant Leaders Own Their Failure

Karsten Voskuil

READ : 2 Samuel 12:1-14 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” (v. 13) My undergraduate degree is in political science. As part of my academic training I not only learned about running political campaigns, but I also spent time working on Capitol Hill. There are many followers of Christ working in government. Too often public servants become easy scapegoats for our frustrations. On the other hand, it is true that power has a way of corrupting …

Servant Leaders Are Rooted in Community

Karsten Voskuil

READ : Acts 15:22-29 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden. (v. 28) When working at a summer camp, I guided kids through challenge initiatives that were meant to produce group cohesiveness and formation. My favorite challenge involved getting a whole group to climb from one side of the wall to the other side without talking. It was a joy to witness group discernment in action. I also …

Servant Leaders Need Eye Examinations

Karsten Voskuil

READ : Acts 9:1-19 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. (v. 8) Before Paul was an apostle, he was a persecutor. Before he knew how to love his neighbors, he practiced hunting them down like animals. Before he spent his life directing people to Christ, he did everything possible to derail the church’s mission. This all changed when the brilliance of Christ’s light finally ended Saul’s reign of terror. Once filled with …

Servant Leaders Persist

Karsten Voskuil

READ : Ruth 1:6-17 Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. (v. 16) One of my twin daughters has given me new appreciation for Luke’s parable of the persistent widow. In the parable, Jesus relates our need to pray and sustain hope with the story of a relentless widow who refused to be denied. My daughter also refuses to be denied: an extra piece of cake; an additional book at bedtime; her favorite tutu …

Servant Leaders Join in Christ’s Self-Emptying

Karsten Voskuil

READ : Philippians 2:1-11 Christ Jesus . . . did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself. (vv. 5-7) Moving into the middle years of my life has meant paying greater attention to my health. And while I make an effort to exercise each day, I’ve stayed clear of the popular Crossfit way of training. That is, until last week. Crossfit is an intense combination of endurance and muscle exercises where a trainer guides …

Servant Leaders Wrestle

Karsten Voskuil

READ : Genesis 32:22-32 A man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. (v. 24) Jacob spent much of his life scheming and running from responsibility. In Hebrew, Jacob’s very name means “heel-grabber,” which perfectly described his character. This is the same person who used some hot lentil stew to trick his brother out of his birthright and straight-up deception to acquire his father’s blessing. Esau likely had additional names for him. And yet, Jacob’s encounter with God …