Thursday, December 5, 2019
“The lure of power can separate the most resolute of Christians from the true nature of Christian leadership, which is service to others. It’s difficult to stand on a pedestal and wash the feet of those below.”
Those are the words of a man who once had power, and it cost him dearly. He was in the inner circle of a United States presidency. But the “lure of power” sent him to prison. The desire to be in control cost him his freedom. He later learned that true power is found in serving others. His name was Charles Colson.
Isaiah 9:6 …and the government will be on His shoulders.
There is no greater example of leadership in all of human history than the story of Jesus Christ. In three short years He transformed the world. He didn’t recruit a huge army to conquer lands and people. He didn’t start a political movement to overthrow the current administration. He wasn’t sophisticated. He wasn’t culturally charismatic. He simply started a grassroots organization called the church and became its eternal leader by serving the members and ultimately sacrificing Himself for the cause.
It is in serving others that the strength of a leader is best observed. In describing Himself, Jesus said,
“The Son of Man has come not to be served, but to serve.”
We are most like Jesus when we serve others. We are the purest reflections of His heart when we sacrifice ourselves for the sake of those we lead. Whether it be in the home or in the workplace, serving others makes us the greatest leaders. In fact, a leader does not begin to serve as a leader until he puts serving into his leadership.
That’s who Jesus was – a servant leader. It is because we know Him as such that we can be excited about the proclamation that the government will be on His shoulders. We can trust His leadership because we know He is serving us. Jesus never set Himself up above those He led. In fact, He was born in a lowly manger in strange town to an unmarried woman and His first visitors were shepherds. He came to serve the least recognized and those with repulsive reputations.
Great leaders never set themselves above their followers—except in carrying out responsibilities.
I saw that happen during a snowstorm several years ago. I saw young men and women from our church piling into a pickup and heading out onto the unplowed streets to voluntarily shovel out buried cars and plugged driveways. They did it only for the thrill of serving others with no expectations of monetary reward.
These are the future leaders of our churches, and they are already qualified. They do not serve to get ahead. They do not serve to accomplish their own agenda. They do not pre-qualify those whom they will serve. They do not stop serving because they might feel unappreciated or unrewarded. They do not quit because the job is too hard. They make whatever sacrifice is necessary to meet the needs of others, because their heart is the heart of Jesus who was focused on others and not on self.
I want to lead like Jesus. I want to always be ready to serve others, no matter who they are. I want to be ready to sacrifice anything I have, including my time, to meet the needs of others for the Glory of the One who gave His life for me. I want to become the least of the least so I am the most like the Greatest!
EXTRA CREDIT! Here’s a comparison between leaders and bosses. I think it will help us to lead our families, our churches, our ministries, and our businesses with the heart of Jesus.
- A boss creates fear
- Bossism creates resentment
- A boss says, “I”
- A boss fixes blame
- A boss knows how
- Bossism makes work drudgery
- A boss relies on authority
- A boss drives
- Leadership breeds enthusiasm.
- A leader creates confidence
- A leader says, “We.”
- A leader fixes mistakes.
- A leader shows how
- Leadership makes work interesting
- A leader relies on cooperation
- A leader leads