My friend Bill mentioned Matthew 20 in his comment to yesterday's post and ironically I reached Matthew 20 this morning in my weekly Bible studies. I love it when the plan comes together!
Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:25-28).
Here was what I wrote about one of those those verses:
v. 27 – Jesus put Himself forward as a model for leadership. He did not come seeking power and position – we are back at Philippians 2 once again – but to do the will of the Father. Let’s look at Philippians 2 one more time to see what attitude you and I should have as leaders:
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:5-11).
What steps can you take to be like the leader that Jesus was and is, the kind of leader that He wants you to be. One thing that Jesus did was to give His life. Where does the Lord want you to give your life? What can you do to give it more fully and completely?
No matter how many books I read on leadership or what I seek to learn, I must always come back to the fact that Jesus, not Calvin, Luther, Collins, Maxwell or any other earthly leader, is my model for leadership. He is the One who understands servant leadership and can help me apply the principles, whether in business, community or church.
Tomorrow we will talk about what servant-leadership is not, but for today, it is about serving the highest priority needs of others. It is putting my gifts, talent and experience at the disposal and use of other people, for their benefit and advancement. It is trusting God for my needs even when they are greater than the ones I am serving and leading. It is leading even when it's not popular or understood, again trusting that my reputation and "good name" are in His hands to control.
So while I will write a lot about what others have to say about leadership and hopefully add something of my own to the mix. Let it never be misunderstood where I stand. Jesus was and is the greatest servant-leader who ever lived, and He is not just the object of my affectation or emulation, but the object of my faith.