During the third and final term of each school year at RVA, several underclassmen candidate for the position of Student Council Chairperson. They have the opportunity to give a short speech in front of the staff and student body. Often these presentations are infused with some comedic element or a few tongue-in-cheek campaign promises designed to elicit a chuckle from the audience. These are always worth attending - even if it is only to see the joker, who knows he doesn’t have a chance at winning, make everyone laugh.
It was refreshing to hear the young man quoted below use his three minutes in the public eye in such a way that the spotlight was aimed somewhere other than on himself. I asked him afterwards for a transcript of his speech so I could share it with all of you. Enjoy.
“Each year we have these elections for student council president. And each year, several candidates come up here, and persuade you why it is they that should be president. They come here with hilarious and comical speeches, witty lines and slogans, and talks on what it means to be a leader. I know this, because last year that was me. And always at the end, we tend to add a little thing about how we want to serve God this year, and how really it’s all for his glory anyway. Well, as I was planning my speech, thinking about the president I wanted to be, I realized something. I don’t want God to just be the pretty bow on top that I wrap up my speech with. It should be all about him. So instead on talking on what a good leader is, I’m going to talk about the Godly leader that I want to be this coming year.
When we look at the kings of Israel, King David was considered amongst all the Kings to be the Mightiest, the greatest. Saul may kill thousands, but David kills tens of thousands. He was promised that his descendants would reign on the throne, forever. I see David, and I have to ask… how? How does this man, who was guilty of adultery, and murder, who was constantly crying and weeping for deliverance from overwhelming enemies, who’s own sons turned against him and against God, how, is he seen as the greatest leader of Israel’s history.
In truth, it was not for his strength, but for his weakness, not for his might, but his humility, it was not because he was whole, but because he was broken, that God was able to use him to do awesome things through him. I learned this past year, that leadership is a spiritual gift, not an innate ability, or an ascertained talent. True leadership is when we finally surrender, so that he can lead us. A true leader is actually just a follower, a servant, a humble and broken man, who knows he can’t do it, but also knows who can.
If I am to lead a body of Christ, then I better be representing Christ and not myself. My goal for this coming year, is not to bring about huge changes or great ideas, which can both be good, but what I want instead is to lead in a Christ like manner. To be able to honor him, and just follow after him. To be humble, and fully dependent, not on my own strength, but on his.
‘Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does no faint or grow wary, his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength, Even youths shall faint and be wary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be wary, they shall walk and not faint.’
God is at work in the hearts of the students here. Thank you for helping our family have a hand in teaching, mentoring, and witnessing these young people as they grow more and more into the likeness of Christ. It is an honor to watch them mature here at RVA and go out into the world, well-equipped to play their own role in expanding God’s Kingdom on earth.
*The picture above was taken our first term here (fall 2012) when I coached the 7th and 8th grade boys soccer team. Many of these young men, including the author above, are now preparing to enter their senior year; it has indeed been a pleasure to walk through life with them.