Savita, an MAOL student in India, joins the many that have a heart to see the destitution of the slums of Delhi, India lessened. She manages an urban slum development project called Shalom, which provides clinical services to HIV/AIDS patients and equips the local church to advocate for and minister to those forced to live in the slums.
She confesses, “Earlier I was a leader who tended to tell my team what to do and how to do it. But as I have done this course I have learnt that as a servant leader I must bring out the best in the people. I have learnt that I must focus on how I can develop their specific gifts and talents, how I must build up the leader in them.”
The whole team started to take an active role in the planning, monitoring and evaluation of their work, thanks to encouragement from Savita. “I gave them more and more responsibility and complex tasks, provided opportunities for them to build their skills, and would give them constructive feedback,” she says. “At times I had to hold myself back because it seemed easier to do the thing myself, but I realized that to enable the others I had to let them take the initiative even if it meant that they made mistakes.”
Savita now has an effective and flourishing team. “Now as I look at my team I have great joy to see how much they have grown. There’s a sense of confidence and ownership in what they do. There are areas of gifting in their lives which I myself do not have, and hence as a team we complement each other and the work we do is so much more effective. They love their work and have a deep sense of calling. Learning and applying this principle of servant leadership in my ministry has made me a better follower of Jesus Christ who showed us through His own life how we can be servant leaders.”