According to the teaching in this lesson, we are taught that service cannot be outgrown. This is in fact true in my opinion because I have observed, and you may agree, that as a person grows older, there is a higher call to service. For example, when we were teenagers and lived with our parents or guardians, we were expected or mandated to serve in basic chores (at least). As adults with families, we are not only expected to serve our spouses and children but there is an innate desire to be relevant in society and this is expressed in our seeking employment formally or informally. Better put, every responsible adult, desires to provide a service that will cause satisfaction; either in securing an income or bringing them fame.
This discussion is however focused on a leader who has grown in the ranks and the scripture used to highlight this point is Luke 16:10-13 (NLT)
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own? “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
A leader who has grown in the ranks has clearly exhibited faithfulness and can continue to serve actively by making a deliberate effort to stay involved and on top of their responsibilities. With a good understanding of accountability, they will realise the importance of following up on delegated tasks. Such a leader will also see the need to give feedback to their own supervisors. When a leader works closely with members of their team, they are able to “impart” some skills such as integrity, transparency, diligence, empathy etc. This is also a way of service as it builds the rest of the body/ team.
An important point to consider is the risk of a hectic schedule for leaders who are top ranking. In such a case, a healthy culture that allows freedom of expression may be helpful. This ought to be presented from the onset in the workplace or within teams so that in the event that responsibilities are overwhelming, leaders should be able to step down temporarily or permanently without fear of condemnation or judgement or loss of privileges.
Numbers 8:23-26 (NLT)
“The Lord also instructed Moses, “This is the rule the Levites must follow: They must begin serving in the Tabernacle at the age of twenty-five, and they must retire at the age of fifty. After retirement they may assist their fellow Levites by serving as guards at the Tabernacle, but they may not officiate in the service. This is how you must assign duties to the Levites.”
While there are scriptures that assure us that we can do all things and our strength is renewed, we see from the text in the book of Numbers that retirement or stepping down is also an option in the place of service.
In the event that a leader steps down voluntarily, they may continue to serve by providing guidance and support to their teams while respecting the boundaries of the new leadership.