“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes (rulers) of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (servant); And whosoever will be chief (first) among you, let him be your servant (slave): Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (be served), but to minister (serve), and to give his life a ransom for many.”Matthew 20:25-28
I recently went through a leadership program at work called Manager Candidate School. I was excited to be selected for this program and it came with some perks that I enjoyed. I was sent to the headquarters campus for a week and my family came along with me. We were able to make a vacation out of it, and enjoyed San Antonio and its delicious fare. The family did some activities while I was attending training during the day, and we explored the city at night. The days were packed with leadership information and it appeared that they were trying to download years of learning into our brains in just one week. One of the classes went over leadership styles and one really got my attention.
The instructor for the class mentioned one of the new leadership styles being implemented and referred to it as “servant leadership”. When I was selected for the program, Rebekah bought me an excellent book on servant leadership that I really enjoyed and learned much from. I was amazed at the reaction of those in the classroom as they had never heard of someone leading in this way and were impressed by those who championed this style and had great success with it. I smiled as I listened because my God is the best example of a servant leader.
I thought of the Savior washing the disciples’ feet, and I thought of these verses as the God of the universe did not come to be served, but He instead came to serve others and did it with tremendous love. John 15:13 states, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus was a servant leader long before it was a leadership style. It is never what you can get from being a leader but more about what can you give. Lives were impacted and changed by Jesus’ leadership, and He left a mark for all eternity.
Whether you know it or not, you are a leader to someone, and there are some who follow and look up to you. Every day we are presented with an opportunity to serve others. Every day we are in a position to improve the life of another with how we treat them and how we choose to serve them. A servant is not a desired position in the world today, but it is one that God values. It is a role that the King of Kings was glad to take on, and for us to be great in God’s eyes, we must do the same.
What type of leader are you today? Do you look for others to serve you or do you look for opportunities to serve? Do you look for the ‘pat on the back’ when you serve others, or do you serve as unto the Lord? What leadership legacy will you leave behind? Who will be changed by your leadership for the good? What would those who are closest to you say about how you serve? May we lead like Jesus as we look for ways to serve others instead of always looking for ways to be served. May people see Jesus in us as we serve others, and may He get all the honor and glory.