A Different Kind of Leader

Scott Stevenson

"Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them.  Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’  But among you it will be different.  Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.  Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves?  The one who sits at the table, of course.  But not here!  For I am among you as one who serves."  Luke 22:24-27 (NLT)

What is a leader according to you and what is a leader according to God?  I asked the men this very question at one of our training sessions several weeks back.  This is a critical subject for everyone, so I wanted to know what God had to say about it.

First, let’s look at the world’s view of leadership.  In verse 25, Jesus tells us that in the world, the leader “lord it over their people” or in other words, you do what you are told to do.  That same leader (worldly) wants to be “called” a friend or in other translations a “benefactor” of the people.  The leader of the world gives in order to receive honor.  The reason Jesus points this out is because the disciples at this time were approaching leadership like an unsaved person.  I wonder how many times I’ve done this very thing and I get caught up in the desperate struggle to be at the top of the heap.  That tells me that even the men who were the closest to Jesus during his ministry on earth missed the mark to this critical area of life.  That means that there’s hope for me.

Jesus rejects the world’s concept of leadership and goes completely in the opposite direction and flips the world’s view on its ear.  Jesus said that a leader by His definition is one who serves.

"Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”  Matthew 20:28 (ESV)

GOD HIMSELF CAME AND SERVED HIS OWN CREATION.  Look at Jesus’ ministry and the numerous times that He healed people, raised them from the dead, taught them and care for them right up to and after His death.  Jesus’ approach to leadership is the gold standard we all should shoot for.  Does Jesus' style of leadership prevent us from holding such a position?  God did not say a Christian couldn’t hold a position of leadership, but do so with a servant’s heart.  We as God’s children should always look for opportunities to serve.  Make the change and see the benefits.

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