Your weekly reflection from Unbound
Every week we offer a prayerful reflection from a member of the Unbound community. This week our reflection is from Outreach Volunteer Coordinator Clair Paul.
In his seminal work, “The Servant as Leader,” Robert K. Greenleaf says, “The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.”
In college, I took a course that helped me identify my leadership style as a servant leader. I saw opportunities to be a servant leader through the youth ministry I worked with, guiding and serving both younger students and my team of leaders.
When I came to work for Unbound, I found many of the same servant leadership principles in Unbound’s policies and goals. We seek to serve the families in our program by putting their unique needs first. From working daily in the office to traveling abroad to visiting families participating in our programs, I’ve learned that it’s so much more than serving our sponsored members. It’s helping them to clear a path, and then stepping back as they choose their own direction.
Colossians 3:12 says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
As sponsors, staff and supporters of Unbound, it’s our role to be this for our sponsored friends. Unbound is about listening. It’s about learning. It’s about giving sponsored friends space to take the lead in their own lives, offering them opportunities and encouragement so they can reach their potential.
Sponsorship also gives us a beautiful opportunity to be welcomed into someone else’s family through letters, photos and maybe even meeting in person. It’s an opportunity to be taken with humility and respect. While we may enter into the relationship with the intentions of serving someone in different circumstances than our own, we often end up learning from our sponsored friends’ perseverance and determination. What a wonderful gift to receive from someone in another country.
Lord, thank you for teaching us to be humble. Please continue to give us opportunities to learn from others, taking not only the time to serve, but also to listen. Clothe us in compassion and give us gentle hearts, we pray. Amen.