Leaders Are Servants

  1. Message: In normal human nature people desire authority and power, and rulers assert their authority over people, but God intended us to lead by serving and this is what Jesus modeled. This goes against the grain of our selfish desire to control.
  2. Command: Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.
  3. Promise: God prepares places of leadership for those he chooses.
  4. Warning: Nobody can choose honor for themselves. We can choose to behave honorably, but we can’t make anyone honor us.Those who desire places of honor will endure suffering.
  5. Application: As I read this I thought about the manipulation that went into the request of John & James’ mother, and I saw the ignorance in the response from John & James. They were focused on the place of honor and they seemingly had no clue what Jesus was talking about when he warned them that to have that kind of honor they would have to suffer the kind of suffering that Jesus suffered. Most of us aren’t looking to rule the world, but there are areas in our lives that we all desire to be trusted in a place of leadership. Some of us want to lead people and some of us just want to control decisions that we feel equipped to handle. The litmus test for our desire is to challenge our motives. Are we really interested in serving people for their good, or do we want to be recognized for our abilities and/or do we want to be the one in charge of making decisions? Some of us are just as manipulative as the mother in this story and our denial just might prove that very point! Our desire for honor comes from our insecurity, but there is no room for insecurity in leadership. Leadership comes naturally when we are genuinely looking to serve and not to take control. People will naturally trust and follow us when we are that kind of person. That’s why there were giant crowds following Jesus. He didn’t have a promoter. He was promoting the welfare of people wherever he went. My personal challenge is to examine the areas of my life where I desire to lead and challenge my motives.

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