Jesus, the Model Servant Leader
Reflecting on this weekend readings, I came across an article I read a few days ago titled: “Jesus: The Role Model for Christian Leadership” written by Thorsten Grahn on 08/11/2011. Some parts of it could be useful for our reflection this weekend.
“Jesus submitted his own life to sacrificial service under the will of God (Luke 22:42), and he sacrificed his life freely out of service for others (John 10:30). He came to serve (Matthew 20:28) although he was God’s son and was thus more powerful than any other leader in the world. He healed the sick (Mark 7:31-37), drove out demons (Mark 5:1-20), was recognized as Teacher and Lord (John 13:13), and had power over the wind and the sea and even over death (Mark 4:35-41; Matthew 9:18-26).
In John 13:1-17 Jesus gives a very practical example of what it means to serve others (see also “The King Who Led With a Towel”). He washes the feet of his followers, which was properly the responsibility of the house-servant. Examination of this passage shows that:
1. Jesus’ basic motivation was love for his followers (v. 1).
2. Jesus was fully aware of his position as leader (v. 14). Before the disciples experienced him as their servant, they had already experienced him many times before as Master, and as a strong and extremely powerful leader.
3. Jesus voluntarily becomes a servant to his followers (v. 5-12). He did not come primarily as their foot washer, but he was ready to do this service for his followers if needed.
4. Jesus wants to set an example for his followers to follow (v. 14-15).
From the teaching and example of Jesus Christ we learn that being a servant leader in the most general sense means being:
• A voluntary servant, who submits themselves to a higher purpose, which is beyond their personal interests or the interests of others,
• A leader who uses the power that is entrusted to them to serve others,
• A servant who, out of love, serves others needs before their own,
• A teacher who teaches their followers, in word and deed, how to become servant leaders themselves”.
Are we willing to learn from Jesus how to be good leaders in our own community?