Avoiding the Institutionalisation of Leadership – Lynn Green

In this episode of the YWAM Teaching Podcast Lynn Green shares about how we in YWAM can avoid the pitfall of institutionalising leadership.

Servant Leadership is on one of the foundational values of Youth With A Mission:

YWAM is called to servant leadership as a lifestyle, rather than a leadership hierarchy. A servant leader is one who honors the gifts and callings of those under his/her care and guards their rights and privileges. Just as Jesus served His disciples, we stress the importance of those with leadership responsibilities serving those whom they lead.

It emphasises the importance of leadership being a lifestyle, and not a hierarchy. 

1 Samuel 8 (NIV)

Israel Asks for a King

1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders.[a]2 The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead[b] us, such as all the other nations have.”

6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

10 Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22 The LORD answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”

Tom Hallas, a member of the YWAM Global Leadership Forum and the YWAM Asia/Pacific Field Director, wrote an article about Servant Leadership entitled “Serving as Sons”, which you can download and read here.

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5 Responses to Avoiding the Institutionalisation of Leadership – Lynn Green

  1. lovefeasttable says:

    God was just bringing revelation to this to me last week, with the same scripture. Thank you for posting this because it helped to flush it out more in my heart and mind. I think it’s about thinking how can you become less than as a leader, so that those around you can become more of who they are called to be. 

  2. Pandora Letitia says:

    I pray you are 100% well.

  3. Praise O Bamisaye says:


  4. Praise O Bamisaye says:


  5. Penn J says:

    “Any time we create an organization we create something of a dwelling place or a habitation for principalities and powers.”

    This is especially true when our organizational structures make agreements and contracts with governments for the sake of tax breaks, tax-receipts etc. We invite the government to supervise and control how we operate as a body. And this really does effect how we do things and how we share and move money. (see the articles I’ve shared below) But this CAN be avoided friends! 🙂

    Maybe the problem is not the ‘organization’ but what commitments/agreements the ‘organization’ makes.

    Charitable status, (like 501(3)(c)) forces churches to have a governmental hierarchy and ‘demonstrate control’ over their ’employees.’ Yikes. Brothers and sisters, let’s think about this.

    Please check out these articles:


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