November 1, 2006, 2:35 pm
Filed under: Leadership

By Walt Alexander

Luke 22:24-27:

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.”

Three things:
1. Leadership in the world is about authority and exercising lordship.
Isn’t this true? In Christ’s day, he was referring to the likes of Herod, Pilate, Caesar – all Gentile (or non-Jewish) leaders. These leaders were known for their exercise of power. For instance, when Jesus was born, Herod had all the male children in Bethlehem and the surrounding region killed. He possessed tremendous power and directing many men. In our day, we can look to Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, or North Korea’s Kim Jong II. Their leadership consists in their accumulated power.

What about you? Do you tend to equate leadership with control and authority? Do you tend to think you are leading only when you are telling someone what to do or directing them? Do you think the quality of a leader is based on the number of directing roles he has?

2. Not so among you.
Why would Christ not want us to lead this way? I think it is because in the presence of great power and authority, pride is not absent. Therefore, God does not want us to be known for our prideful, sinful accomplishments but for our humility. Indeed, God looks throughout the earth for the humble and contrite of heart (Is 66:2). Humility is what we should be known for because it is what is pleasing to God.

3. Leadership in the kingdom of God is about serving others.
In verse 27, Jesus contrasts the two leaders. One is seated at the table and one is serving the table. The leader is the one who is serving. This is counterintuitive and countercultural. After Christ makes this statement, leadership in the kingdom of God was never the same!

This makes the call to leadership all the more challenging. We cannot (as leaders) merely point people in a direction. We must lead them by serving them and serving alongside them!

Do you lead others by serving? Or do you tend to strive after a secular, worldly form of authoritative leadership?

How can you grow in serving others? What are practical ways to you can lead others by serving them?


1 Comment so far
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Your questions really pack some bite today. They are very probing and deep. I try very hard not to be a dictator at home. There will always be times that we, as men (spiritual and home leaders), have to just take the reins and lead. I have tried very hard to show my boys that it’s not always WHAT you say, but HOW you may say it. It’s not always that you’ve gotten where you are, but HOW and WHY you’ve gotten where you are.

A good leader should always look behind him and see if his troops are still following him.

Comment by Fritz

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