Fifty years ago, Kent Keith wrote a small booklet that included 10 “Paradoxical Commandments.” Often separated from the author’s name, these have made their way around the world and were included in the book “” by Dr. Paul Chappell, one of the nation’s most influential pastors and leader of one of the largest churches on the West Coast and across the nation.
“A half-century later, these 10 statements remain powerful and true descriptions of Christ-like, servant leadership,” Chappell said. “When we attach these to biblical truth straight from Bible verses, these ‘commandments’ can guide and challenge us daily in our leadership roles.”
“Many leaders fear competition, so they stifle input,” Chappell said. “Some leaders are insecure, so they avoid confrontation. Some leaders are self-centered, so they have everything ‘their way.’ Some leaders fear rejection, so they accommodate compromise. Other leaders harbor envy, so they attack good men. God’s work requires a different kind of leadership.
“God’s people need love,” he continued. “They need nurture. They need transparent leaders who will mentor them, equip them and serve with them—shoulder to shoulder. People without Christ need Christian leaders who will be genuine with them. They need to hear the Gospel from the heart and then see it lived out in sincerity.”
- People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered. Love and trust them anyway. (Luke 23:24)
- If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway. (Matthew 11:16, 19)
- If you are successful you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The crowds who cheered Him on Sunday and called Him King were the same who on Friday cried, “Crucify Him.” (Luke 19:36–38 and John 19:15)
- The service you render today will be forgotten tomorrow. Serve people anyway. (Luke 17:17)
- Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway. (Luke 12:51 and Luke 13:5)
- The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest ideas. Think big anyway. (Luke 22:22, 24)
- People pretend to love the “little” people, but sell their souls to the “big” people. Fight for the “little” people anyway. (Matthew 19:14)
- What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. (Matthew 26:48–49, 56)
- People really need help, but may attack you if you do help. Help people anyway. (Luke 4:18–19, 28–29)
- Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway. (Matthew 27:17, 21)
“Our world and our churches are crying out for this kind of Christ-like leadership,” Chappell concluded. “Those who have turned a deaf ear to the Gospel could soften their hearts in the light of this kind of leadership. Those who have become disillusioned with “religion” could come to Christ when embraced with the reality of transparent love.”