No matter how autocratic a fundamentalist leader may be, he will be obligated from time to time to pay lip service to the concept of servant leadership. This usually takes the form of recounting stories from the early days of his ministry when as a young preacher boy he served as the junior assistant to the associate youth pastor. Whatever else this story may involve there will without a doubt be a mention of cleaning toilets.
Indeed, in fundamentalism it appears that cleaning a toilet is the mark of a servant leader. It’s as if sometime during Bible college, the entire graduating class of preacher boys is taken by night to a candle-lit ceremonial loo scrubbing after which they are inducted into the society of Preachers Who Once Actually Got Their Hands A Smidge Dirty.
So, young man, shoulder your scrubber and clean with care. You too someday may regale your flock with stories of a time when you did your obeisanceÂ before the porcelain throne. And then you’ll stand in the ranks of the Servant Leaders, flushed with pride.
(Many thanks to Justin for the idea and my apologies for the tardiness in adding this acknowledgment.)