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By Nancy Kingdon

An Interview with Marvin Brubacher, of MentorLink Canada

Servant leadership is a command of God; as we seek to become more Christ-like in how we live our lives, we must learn to follow Jesus’ example. After Jesus washed His disciples’ feet in John 13: 14, He then said, “go and do likewise”.

Why? Jesus knew His position as Son in God’s Kingdom; He knew He was loved by God; He had nothing to gain or lose by doing this potentially embarrassing and humbling task---yet He did it to model serving others.

“No servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him” (John 13:16), Jesus teaches us. It’s a heart motive issue, from start to finish. By serving others in this way, Jesus was modeling what His followers should do.

Leadership, Jesus’ way, is not about position or power, but about love and responsibility. It’s not about control, but about humility and gentleness of spirit, caring for others with compassion. In addition, our brokenness before our King and Lord Jesus is a pre-requisite for learning to walk in true humility!

Marvin Brubacher tells his story...

As the third son among seven children, Marv grew up in a Christian home in Clinton Ontario. He learned at an early age to serve others, such as sweeping floors in his father’s shop, mowing lawns, delivering newspapers and even doing roofing projects for his neighbours. He loved helping people! Eventually he went to Bible College, where he met his wife, Kay. Later he served as founder and President at Heritage Bible College, in Cambridge.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Mathew 11: 28-30

This verse is the only time in scripture that Jesus talks about his own heart’s motive. Notice that “gentle and humble in heart” is what a servant leader’s heart must become to find rest and cope with life’s burdens.

When Marv talks about his Mennonite childhood experience watching and sometimes handling horses, we learn what “take my yoke” actually means. He explains: “When two work horses are yoked together, there’s always a lead horse. The other horse follows. There’s a device we called “the evener” that shifts the load between the two horses. For example, if there’s a steep hill to climb the lead horse can carry a heavier load, just like Jesus offers to do, when we are yoked with Him.”

Sometimes people would say things like “it must be great to be the President of a Bible College!” Marv felt uncomfortable because he did not know how to respond. He knew salary, position, power were things they were thinking about, but he’d taken a cut in pay to become President, and his enormous workload worried him. It was great to see students transformed, but this did not seem to be the right response.

”I wrestled with God about what to say” he admitted. “Then one day it hit me. Why is it so great to be President? It’s because I am the ONLY ONE at the school who gets to serve everyone! Deans serve faculty. Faculty serve students. Cafeteria staff serve those staying on campus. But as President, I serve THEM ALL! That’s what makes my position so special!

The privilege of serving people is what captures my heart; it is who I am, and what gives me my greatest satisfaction,” he explains.

Some Biblical Leadership Principle take-aways...

1. Knowing God’s Presence and strength is with us, as we walk yoked with Jesus leading us in His authority, is a blessing we can receive here and now.

2. Ultimate rewards may not come in this life. Servant leaders look forward to one day hearing the words “well done, my good and faithful servant!”

3. Want blessed, solid relationships with those around you? Practice servant leadership! You’ll be amazed at how serving others opens, warms and transforms hearts!

In closing, Marv advises: “Get to know the people you are called to serve and serve them well! Each person is unique but EVERYONE is important! Remember, even little things you do for others count! Heart attitude is what makes all the difference. Don’t forget---when we serve others, we are serving and pleasing God!

Nancy Kingdon
She is a member of AWAI American Writers Association Inc., PWA Professional Writers Association and ACL Association of Christian Librarians. She serves at her church as a Volunteer Coordinator of an ESL ministry and is a credential holder with PAOC, Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. She’s a Volunteer Board member for LEI Literacy Evangelism-Canada, a Board member for The Quilt of Belonging, and continues to serve the ABHE Association of Biblical Higher Education as a Volunteer Accreditation Team member. Nancy is also a Volunteer Facilitator for CCBF’s monthly Clarington Business Leadership Chapter Meetings.

Prior to launching Writing Legacy: The right word at the right time, Nancy was Director of Learning Resources at Master’s College and Seminary for ten years, and before that CEO of four public libraries. She has an MLS Master of Library Science degree from UWO and an Honours English-Religion B.A. degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She took copywriter training through AWAI, advancing to Circle of Success certification.

She is happily married to Rodney Kingdon, enjoying sharing life with the man of her dreams.