To be honest, virtually everyone in a position of authority finds some satisfaction in knowing that when they speak, folks listen and respond.
That desire can be good and healthy. Maybe the leader finds great pleasure in being an integral part in creating and sustaining a well-oiled machine. Maybe they love knowing that they are responsible for creating and sustaining an environment where folks find great joy in participating because it makes them feel great and they know the cause is worthy.
Yet, that desire could point to a wicked heart. Maybe the leader just likes feeling powerful. Maybe they rest their head on their pillow at night and assess that they are a person of worth because of the way people listen to them and do their bidding. Maybe they even go so far as to believe that their life is worth more than those they lead.
Jesus’ disciples exemplified the latter. One day, as they were walking with Jesus to Capernaum, they were behaving just like immature children and “discussing” among themselves who was more important.
“After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, ‘What were you discussing out on the road?’ But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest.”
They weren’t ashamed to discuss among themselves who was more important. They were, however, ashamed to discuss it in front of Jesus. They knew that He would expose the sin within their hearts.
So, as a caring leader who saw a teaching moment, He called them to Himself and instructed them on what true leadership is.
Mark 9:35 (New Living Translation)
“He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, ‘Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.'”
A leader who follows Jesus will not see themselves as more important than those they lead. They will not make decisions based upon what is good for them and disregard the needs and desires of those who follow.
A leader who is a Jesus-follower will realize that they are a servant-leader. They are in a position of leadership to serve others. They see value in every person they lead. No task is too small for them to roll up their sleeves and get sweaty. They lead by thinking of how they can make the lives of those around them better.
Pastor, are you serving those you lead? How? Be specific?
Teacher, are you serving those you lead?
A true leader serves those that he/she leads.