Jesus flipped leadership on its head, literally. But, His words are no excuse for neglectful leadership.
Matthew 20:25-27 (NET) But Jesus called them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them. 26 It must not be this way among you! Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave
Serve By Doing The Job No One Wants.
My dad taught me to always be willing to do and do the most undesirable tasks.
Don’t think you are too good or too important to do the things you ask of those you are responsible to lead. Ouch. I know.
So, I’ve cleaned a lot of bathrooms over the years. But, there are far worse jobs than bathrooms.
I drew a foolish and insecure conclusion from my dad’s words.
I came to believe that I had to do as many of the dirty jobs as possible to prove my worthiness to lead. I also thought I had to work harder than anyone else, which wouldn’t have been so bad if I had not felt as if I had to be great at everyone else’s job, too.
Have someone else clean the bathrooms. Leadership serves by having the tough conversations.
Galatians 6:1-2 (NET) Brothers and sisters, if a person is discovered in some sin, you who are spiritual restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness. Pay close attention to yourselves, so that you are not tempted too. 2 Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
In a business, it’s confronting the team member who is recalibrating the team to a lower standard.
In a church, it is clarifying the vision to the volunteer minister… again. It may be confronting attitudes and worse that are distracting others from Jesus.
In the home, it’s often the difficult but simple expression of pain caused by your partner’s actions. And, it’s most definitely listening to your spouse when they say things that are hard to hear.
It’s the leader’s job to do these hard things. When we shy away from them, our team Suffers.
Serve By Seeing What Others Are Afraid To See.
Everyone LOVES Change! When it’s their idea. When it’s your idea… not so much.
The problem is that the environment that we inhabit is always changing.
Our finances, relationships, health, and attitudes are in a constant state of flux. Yet, the average person prefers to strap on their blinders. It is easier to avoid these realities and just keep plugging along.
I get it.
“Hey! I’m overwhelmed here.” Isn’t the mere accomplishment of forward motion enough? But, that doesn’t work.
Climbing an escalator that is traveling up is wonderful. Climbing one that is going down is terrible. And, it seems as though life can switch escalator directions on you in a moment.
It’s tough to see what no one else wants to see.
Jeremiah was a prophet in the Old Testament. He was tasked with the thankless job of seeing what no one else wanted to see. Here is a record of what happened when Jeremiah had it all written down so the King could see what God was up to.
Jeremiah 36:23 (NET) As soon as Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king would cut them off with a penknife and throw them on the fire in the firepot…
It’s the leader’s job to take that unflinching look at current and coming realities. It’s their responsibility to seek God for a path through those difficulties. If a leader doesn’t share that vision with those they lead, what will happen?
I’m not sure either, but likely the result will not be good.
Serve By Believing What Others Cannot Believe.
With God anything is possible!
Shout that in a church, and you will get an “Amen”. But almost no one believes that God will actually do the impossible for them.
A serving leader believes that God will do the impossible for us. And, an experienced leader will not presume to tell God what impossible answer works best.
God has a way of vastly exceeding our expectations without ever meeting them. At least, He doesn’t do things in the way we expect.
The courageous act of service for a leader is to believe when others cannot.
Jude 1:20-21 (NLT) But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.
If you take a moment to recall what God has done, your faith will grow. When you reflect upon the call you have received from God to do this very thing, your faith will breathe deep. When you recite and proclaim these things you will fill the atmosphere with faith. And, as you share your God-granted dreams, the faith of others will inhale.
Faith is the air we breathe. A serving leader fills the air of their family or team with plenty of Faith!
Serve by praying more than others can bear.
The kind of serving that makes for great leading is impossible.
There is so much to learn about leadership, but your intellect will not be the cause of your success. Serving is so powerful, but it is not enough either.
The function of a Leader is really that of a Miracle worker.
Are you thinking so yourself, “That is an extreme statement?”
Every leader is tasked with leading self-interested people toward becoming more sacrificial.
We must encourage people to come together for a common vision. Yet, we have our own interpretation of that common vision. Each person also has their own vision for the team or family.
We are to make sure our family, team, or organization has enough resources. Anything you lead will need finances, training, connections, and relationships. Those things do not just materialize out of thin air.
So, CEO, Pastor, Parent, Foreman, and anyone else in leadership, what do you need? Here it is…
YOU NEED REGULAR MIRACLES.
There is only one place to pick up your daily miracle provision.
Ephesians 6:18 (NLT) Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Do you see why Paul was so adamant that we pray… a lot.
So, the more you lead, the more you must pray. It would be true to say that your leadership success is a product of your prayer life.
A praying leader is serving their team.
Is your team worth it?
Is your family, church, business, or organization worth the high cost of service?
Is your calling worth the very uncomfortable conversations required?
Are your people worth the sacrifice of your popularity, when you must tell them what they do not want to hear?
Is the future of your ministry worth the time and energy necessary to build your faith.
Are you willing to pray more than anyone else, so that those under your care achieve greater growth and faith?
Of course, they are.
God is great in you my friend.