To lead is to serve. That statement is so counter-cultural that I may need to state it again to get us in the right frame of mind. To lead is to serve. The lie that we see, hear, experience, and are somewhat thrust into by corporate and civil paradigms is that the higher we move up the ladder the more we will be served by others.
As a leader, It is so easy to get caught up into entitlement. Everything in us wants to lord over others and avoid the lowly task. We want to prove to ourselves that we have reached a level where we are above others, that we have arrived before they have. Jesus teaches us the truth in Matt 20:26, “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.” Translation: to lead any team is to serve them. To lead my family is serve them. To lead employees, students, children, any team is to serve others. And to lead my household is to keep service at the forefront with my spouse.
Jesus gave us the ultimate example of this in John 13. “Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father… And during supper 3 Jesus, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.”
Jesus’ life and ministry was the epitome of service to others. Even though our culture is worlds apart from the culture of Jesus’ day, the simple act of serving others is still the way to live.
Lie: To be a successful leader is to have many under our authority who follow us
Truth: To lead is to serve
“Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.” (Matt 20:26)