CTeam Retreat ’11: servant leadership


From 4/15-4/17 the new & old Coordinating Team members & staff went to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to be refreshed, build community, & prepare for next year. It is incredibly important to build up these leaders spiritually, communally, & practically so that they are well-equipped for our InterVarsity camp at year’s end & leading in 2011-2012. This is part 2 of 4 about the weekend & about leadership development.

On Saturday morning, after a light breakfast, we settled into the living room couches with coffee cups, Bibles, and notebooks. Lisa K, the 2010-2011 chapter president, was about to lead us in the first session of the day. Her topic: servant leadership, using 1 Peter 5:1-11. This is a subject of undeniable importance for our CTeamers.

At a top-notch school like UVA — where students seek to amass internship experience, Student Council positions, research credentials, and as many titles as possible to add to their bottom-of-email signatures — it’s easy to subsume Christian leadership under the university culture’s culture.  But while on the surface executive leadership on CTeam looks like Student Council’s officerships, they are totally different. Here are some things Lisa highlighted:

  • Humble vs. Ambitious: It’s not to say that secular leadership isonly about selfish gain — God uses all manner of things.  But a typical UVA student’s ambition to rise in ranks is generally taken for granted or approved of  in our capitalistic spirit.  But our example from 1 Peter says that our leaders should seek positions because they are “eager to serve.”  And when we get position, we do “not [lord] it over those entrusted to you, but [are] examples to the flock.” Our top leaders don’t operate out of the power or position of their titles. They follow the humble authority of Jesus, choosing to ascend or descend in power to better serve the flock.
  • A real enemy vs. neutral market: While we don’t work ourselves into a frenzy, 1 Peter 5 reminds us of the real enemy; this world and life we live in aren’t some neutral market of work, goods, and people. We know that our “enemy the devil [is] looking for someone to devour,” and we know that we are part of a great struggle. This gives us purpose and urgency. But more than anything, it humbles us into dependence on Jesus as He alone has overcome Death.
  • Undergoing suffering together vs. lone rangers: When we are under suffering or stress, Lisa reminded us that we must have the humility to get help! And we are so fortunate that in the Body of Christ are brothers and sisters who will help us bear our burdens. Often times secular leadership or academics leaves you very much alone, like lone warriors having to face an army by themselves. God gave us a body, and we lead in community and are better for it.

As we wrapped up the Bible study, the students were then sent to spend 2.5 hours with the Lord alone, a “retreat of silence” to reflect on their walk with the Lord, and how they feel about leadership and authority. We knew we needed to seek God after two consecutive studies that called us back to Jesus!

Pray for our new leaders to cultivate hearts of service as they prepare for next year!

Lisa K leading a study on servant leadership for old and new CTeam members.


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