The Bible speaks of so many wonderful leaders and how God blessed them for their work. There are many verses that God spoke to encourage men and women who choose to step up and lead. Additionally, there are several passages where Jesus teaches against the worldly systems of authority, and where he proposes a social system that is quite the opposite to what we are accustomed to. Jesus especially warns against notions of power, prestige, and primacy among his own followers.
Jesus taught us to fight the devil of self-esteem, be spirit-led, sincere, and lead by example since actions speak louder than words. In the gospel of Mark especially, there are many passages about the characteristics of Jesus as a leader that every team leader can learn from! However, the two most important things we can learn from the leadership characteristics of Jesus Christ are self-leadership and servitude.
This is where leadership starts. Self-actualization and self-leadership pave the way for team leadership and public influence. If you don’t know who you are as a person; and don’t know your potentialities and best qualities; or can’t lead and control yourself, then you can not (and should not) be in a position to lead others. This is why Jesus often withdrew to quiet places to pray. He battled the devil to prove his character. He knew that his identity was the foundation of his ministry which made Him a sincere leader that was confident with his words.
2) Christian Leadership Requires the Humility of a Servant Heart
- As Jesus and the disciples prepared to share the Passover there was no servant to wash their feet. It was beneath them to wash each other’s feet. However, Jesus chose humility, took the place of the servant, humbly kneeled down, and washed their feet to challenge them against Peter’s opposition.
“So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.I have set you an example so that you should do as I have done for you. Truly, truly, I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him (John 13:14-16).
- Another incident where Jesus proved to us that leadership is all about service is when James and John asked Jesus to sit at His right and left hands. They wanted to look superior to the other disciples.
“But Jesus called them aside and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. It shall not be this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 20:25-28).
“It shall not be so among you.” Jesus’ instructed his disciples and each and every Christian leader. As servants of the Kingdom of God, we are different than other leaders in the world.
- Nowadays, people are all striving for fancy titles, and leadership itself is seen as being about position, status and power. Yet, Jesus teaches:
“The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:11-12).
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