Worldly leadership versus servant leadership

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Worldly leadership versus servant leadership       

Matthew 20: 25-27 “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave.”

Extra Reading: Matthew 20:20-28

One of the greatest needs for the church today is for biblically motivated leadership. When worldly approaches to leadership are imported into the church, or when people rely on their natural inclination instead of God’s Word, the tendency is towards power-motivated, controlling leaders. If we do not break this yoke of non-biblical leadership and unleash the resources of the Body of Christ, there is little hope that the world can be evangelized and brought under the Lordship of Christ in our lifetime. Christ left us with an example of how to lead others, and our pattern for leadership should come from His example. His approach to leadership involved the giving of Himself to His followers.

There is a tendency to view leadership as a matter of authority. Some feel that authority gives them the right to lead by ruling others. Thinking this way can result in devious and self-serving leadership. We see examples of this in politics, education, business, etc., which can create a tendency for us to lead according to the ways of the world, since those ways are familiar to us. Worldly leadership is based on certain assumptions about how people are motivated, such as:

  • You can’t trust people to do what you want them to do.
  • If you trust others too much, they will take advantage of you.
  • Leader assume authority on the basis of either their position or by their personality.
  • People will do what you want them to do only when motivated by reward, or threatened by punishment.
  • Leaders should avoid close contact with their followers, or their followers will view them as weak. Do you agree with any of these statements? Why or why not? These assumptions above are common in many leaders.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to be true servant-leaders. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Rev. Samuel N. Modise                   

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