I read recently the following about leadership: “God never asks you to do anything that He doesn’t give you the ability and the power to do." The same is true of leadership. God doesn’t ask you to be a leader unless He gives you the abilities to lead, the opportunities to lead, the resources to lead and the people to lead. He won’t ask you to be a leader without giving you the gifts of leadership. That’s what those things are – opportunities, abilities, resources, and people.” While this is true, there is a threat or temptation that challenges all leaders. That temptation is to lead in such a way that benefits the leader only. That is not the model that Jesus taught his disciples.
Jesus taught His disciples that biblical leadership was different than what the world teaches. “A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, 'The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.' ” (Luke 22: 24-27)
I recently had a conversation with a group of leaders about what their experience of leadership in the marketplace was. To a person, they said that they had not seen many examples of servant leadership, the kind of leadership that Jesus taught by both word and example. Not only is that a sad commentary on the state of leadership all around us, but it is also a clarion call for followers of Jesus to live into a more excellent way.
Have you seen the model of leadership that Jesus taught where you work? Do you embody servant leadership in your position of influence? If not, what keeps you from responding to Jesus’ call to “serve and not to be served?”