Don’t Let Power Go into Your Head

Written by Pastor Michael Wambeo

The quest for servant leadership in Africa; both in the church, the state, and even in nongovernmental organizations cannot be overemphasized. That Africa has come a long way with a history of struggle for freedom and self-governance, it is unfortunate that it has only instilled the master-subject mentality. This kind of mentality takes the masses through systems and motions; whether in education, politics, career, or business, that aim at getting or poising an individual for the top position, or at least, in the long run, being the next one in charge.

What we see among our leaders today, is complete non-adherence to what the two late former Vice Presidents of Kenya, Michael Wamalwa, and Prof. George Saitoti perhaps implied, when they once told their fellow parliamentarians to “not let power go with their heads” and that “there comes a time when a nation is bigger than an individual,” respectively. We have become so intoxicated with power, that ‘whoever’ is not in the ‘main’ leadership, feels small, disadvantaged, and dissatisfied.

While we face real issues and challenges of Laziness, Shortcuts, Dependency, and even Caste in Africa, we have almost convinced ourselves and retired to the thinking that unless you’re among the ‘top-ten’, you can never make a positive impact or be part of the solution in society.

The move by the government, for instance, some years back, to either completely decapitate Village Polytechnics, Certificate, and other Tertiary institutions, or to minimize/maximize them into Universities and or ‘bigger’ institutions to help score or add some political muscle to “our” region, was ill-advised. If we shall only raise a generation of CEOs and MDs and Station Masters; where then do we expect to churn the field officer and hands-on middlemen who go down to the ground to implement the points of action?

I guess that’s one of the reasons why most ‘self-made’ leaders and those who have cruised through multiple works and serving experience, have proven more effective and efficient than those who simply earned it by reason of academic qualifications. Worse still, those in the latter leadership positions have often been carried away by their titles and credentials only to forget their roles and responsibilities.

Biblically, God never called people by their titles. He simply addressed them by name and distinguished them by function. For instance, He doesn’t call Moses, “Bishop Moses”, or “Rev. Simon Peter?” but simply by their names! Hence, with God, your mission is more important than your position, as much as your calling is to your title. We clearly lose it then, if the Pastor will literally die for the Bishop’s office; and if the Prophet won’t rest either until he hits the mighty, and if possible; the mightiest. The Apostle, on the other hand, seemingly not taking it lightly, until he puts on the Chief Apostle’s gown. I mean, even in the seating arrangement, you can so quickly tell the Senior Pastor’s seat as being a little bit different from that of the Assisting one. I thought the Apostle was equally raised by a Pastor and trained by the Teacher? I thought we were all convicted into salvation by an Evangelistic anointing? I’m sure the Prophet needs the Apostle as much as the Pastor needs the Prophet and vise versa?

The function and the grace might be different but “let no one think too highly of himself than he ought to” and neither should we think too less of others, as we are all called to be servants after Christ. This does not, in any negate the fact that we must “give honour where it is due” and that indeed, without all contradiction, “the lesser shall be blessed by the greater!” Oh, Church of Kenya; let’s be zealous but balanced, lest the enemy takes advantage of us. No one is indispensable and no one can stand alone! It is only Christ who has the Spirit in full measure and the perfection of all ministry.

Christ’s mission was to raise servant leaders who will impact the world through the Church. The quest for servant leadership is therefore pegged on being Christ-like. Jesus said He never came to be served but to serve. At one point, He demonstrates servanthood by washing His disciples’ feet (John 13).

If ranks were anything to go by, He asserted that whoever wanted to be first and the greatest in the kingdom was to become the least. He lets the woman in Matthew 20 realize what it takes for her sons to sit with Him on the ‘front chair’.

The philosophy of being “first among equals” can only be, in my opinion; secular in nature. With God, the way up is down. God has a tendency of leading us to nothingness and littleness: a place where our human ego is deadened, and where we serve not for gain but for His glory.

The attitude of humility and giving preference to others above ourselves is a nugget to be embraced in society and across generations. The ‘bossy-leader’ attitude will only procure dictatorial, controlling, and manipulative prima-donnas who in turn breed insecurity and idolization.

Serving in humility does not by any means demean your configuration or capacity. Servant leadership is an attitude that sets an individual in a position to minister to others out of compassion. Servant leaders will do anything it takes to deliver, even without supervision. Servant leaders put other people’s needs as a priority. They strife to get solutions to issues without looking at what they will gain in return. They report to work early and leave late because they focus on achieving set goals. They are disciplined in character and are careful to exemplify role model traits. They are persons of integrity and they remain focused. A servant leader works and walks with his team members. He is not just a man of the people but a man with people’s welfare at heart. John Maxwell, in one of his ten quotes, says, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Those that be of Christ will transform the world through selfless service – servant leadership, it is.

Michael B. Wambeo is the Senior Pastor at Bethel Worship Centre in Kitengela, Nairobi, Kenya.
SOURCEPastor Michael Wambeo :
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  1. A fantastic synopsis of servant leadership. I have known Pastor Michael Wambeo for about 15 years. He leads with a lot of humility and example. I find this article quite informative and empowering. It qualifies as a masterpiece and a collection of items.

  2. When in leadership of any kind in Kenya, you literally have to fight your way into servant leadership. The culture of idolizing the leader for “benefits” chases after you. It is unimaginable for congregants to arrange the same sits for all including the pastor in the name of identifying who is in charge! Is this part of what we were commanded to resist!!! May the Lord help us!

  3. Reading this today has just reminded me of Moses.A true mirror of a servant leader.Servant leadership doesn’t seek it’s own gain,,,, blessings for this beautiful and we’ll articulated article

  4. Very deep Pastor. Taking notes. This is actually an eye opener for me and very educative for that matter.
    Thank you so much. God bless you.

  5. I think this article is timely, a piece made in heaven. Spiritually speaking, there is a shift.
    Michael, your observation of leadership is deep yet simply practicle. I hope we use to mirror on our shortcomings, then be quick to reflect and reform.

  6. Those that be of Christ will transform the world, I agree we are to restore all things including leadership

  7. Thank you sir for contributing to the body of christ constructively. This is wisdom at its function. God bless you sir

  8. We thank God for having a man of God who can open our eyes 👁️ and give us a direction of Godly way.very empowering message pastor may the Lord continue using to give us the fruits

  9. Selfless service equals servant leadership. I like how this piece opens up our minds to the truths that God wants us to know. Thank you pastor 🙏

  10. “Take the stage Lord and have your way,am just a vessel and nothing more. When you are done please take the glory because am satisfied just to see you glorified.” This article echoes the words of this song by Nathaniel Bassey. Thanks pastor for sharing.

  11. Those that be of Christ will transform the world through selfless service….. Indeed leaders are not bosses but SERVANTS. God bless you Pst. Mike for taking your time to write such an amazing article. To God be the glory.

  12. Amen! This is so amazing. Service leadrship is all that need to do demonstrate as christians jyst as Christ did
    Thank you pastor for this great reminder to christians …..

  13. Thanx Pastor for enlightening my eyes and mind,it’s actually a blessing having an honest servant of God like you.Mungu aendelee kukupaka mafuta yake mabichi kila siku kwa utumishi wake,be blessed my bro

  14. Enlightening piece on leadership. I believe it calls for individuals to examine their character when in a position to exercise leadership

  15. Thanks Pastor Wambeo for this powerful and transformative piece that well befits our generation.As a true Levite you are serving your generation well.

    The challenge with the world is power and once it gets absolute;it corrupts absolutely and it’s the very reason Paul wrote saying “Let him who thinks he stands take care lest he fall.”

    Servant leadership is therefore the way of the cross and as you have affirmed;in that path there is safety for the Church and to all when we follow the simplicity of Christ.

  16. It’s deep,a reminder on servant leadership.
    It’s true my brother that humility/ servant hood is the pathway to lifting.
    God bless


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