Every community has its leaders, whether by natural selection, by force, or by default. Even in a community of kids there are natural leaders who step up to the mark and lead their mates around. We see this with the kids we interact with in the communities we serve here in Thailand.
Let me introduce you to one of those ... his name is Jet and we think he is 8 years old. Many kids in our communities don't actually know how old they are because no one has told them when their birthday is. The number of kids we get to our kids' program on Thursdays and Saturdays can often depend entirely on how Jet feels that day. Let me share an example .... last Saturday, Jet said to me that he was not going to our Program of English teaching and games in the afternoon. And, so true to his word, he walked around telling others also not to go. His 'followers' promptly did what he said and didn't turn up. More on that later ....
Jet, like many kids we spend time with, is very needy without any male role model in his life. IF he is feeling OK he will grab hold of you and insist you give him all your attention and stops others receiving attention. Yet, on the other hand, he also takes a natural leadership position of organising the kids and trying to control them (whether they are older or younger) and many follow - out of respect or fear or wanting to be led, I really don't know why.
Mischievous Jet - but insisting on being up the front
Jet is very happy when he is in charge. But he is somewhat disruptive when he is being led.
He doesn't go to school and spends his time either wandering around his slum community or playing and then is ready to boss others when they return home from the local school.
Most kids respect him and don't stand up to him, because he will be very forceful to get his own way.
Anyway, back to last Saturday .... Jet finally decided (out of boredom, I think) that it was a good idea to join in with our kids' program at which time he stood with hands on his hip and yelled at the top of his voice for all the neighbourhood kids to come along as well. Those who didn't dare challenge his leadership prior to this time were now free to come and they all enjoyed our time together joining in with lots of fun games and activities. We had around 20 kids that day.
What do you think when I introduce you to Jet ? Possibilities can include ....
1. You may see his leadership qualities and the potential of a young man like this ?
2. You may think he is just a kid who misbehaves and wants his own way and should be disciplined ?
3. You may see that he is a kid with deep needs and deep wounds who has been rejected by potential adult role models who are too preoccupied by their own issues that stem from their extreme poverty ?
4. You may see that this child needs love and the care and leadership of Jesus in his life ?
I actually see the enormous leadership potential in Jet and want to provide care for him that eventually introduces him to my favourite leader - Jesus Christ. I have been encouraged by a friend in Australia to pray for Jet that one day he will become a servant leader of the emerging Thai church. Will you consider praying that with me?
My favourite leader is Jesus Christ because He showed how to lead people through servanthood. He never lords it over people but poured Himself out through His sacrificial death and continues to pour Himself out so His followers can be free. There is no better leader than Jesus - that is who we seek to serve and demonstrate to the communities in which we live.
Please pray that these natural leaders (like Jet) would choose the servanthood leadership of Jesus Christ and become natural servant leaders for their people in a way that revolutionises the Thai church.