Christian Leadership: A Conversation with Phil Sallee and Eric Knox
This Sunday, two of the church elders talked with us about what Leadership means, using the passage Matthew 20:20-28. In this section, the mother of James and John had asked that her sons get important places in Jesus' kingdom. His response showed that they didn't understand how the kingdom works.
Appointment: True Christian leadership is directed by God.
Jesus said that the places of honor would go to those for whom they were prepared. God appoints us to leadership.
Church: As an example, our church's men's group began when two men met with one man who needed counseling. They didn't set out to lead anything, but have served more than 50 men since then.
Ephesians 2:11 -- God prepared good works in advance for us to do. Our role isn't to "make it happen," but to serve, to look for God's direction.
Home: Pray over decisions and seek God's will. Are your goals God's goals?
Business: Seek God's guidance in your workplace. It takes humbling ourselves to listen to God's direction.
Here Eric told a story of an answer to prayer that began with him being fired.
Jesus said, "You don't know what you're asking." Some answers to prayer come with great difficulty.
Humility: True Christian leadership is not self-promoting.
"The rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them. Not so with you."
Church: Humble leaders point others to God, not to themselves. Are we willing to take the job that is needed?
Home: Recognize the strengths of your spouse and family and your own weaknesses. It's not a competition -- you're part of a team. We're all better when we point each other toward God. Parenting - and life - is a team effort. Defensiveness is opposed to humility.
Business: Allow God to raise us up (Luke 14:10). Even popular authors on leadership acknowledge the importance of humility.
We don't have to strive to be successful. Trust God and pray for direction. Allow God and others to promote us.
Is it okay to seek a promotion? Yes, at times. But never in order to lord it over others. Check your attitude.
Service: True Christian Leadership enables others to succeed.
"Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave."
Church: At Gateway, we serve our way into leadership. Deacons are small group leaders and team leads. The term "deacon" comes from the Greek word for "servant" used here. We want to see ourselves as servants of Christ.
Home: Husbands lay down your life for your wife. (Ephesians 5:25) Serving our children does not mean putting them in control. But the home is a good place to teach our children about service.
Business: True leadership is found in serving others. Leaders enable others to succeed. When we demonstrate servanthood at work, we're serving Jesus (Colossians 3:23). Jesus was the ultimate servant leader.
Conclusion: "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."
Our example is Jesus. He still serves us today as an intercessor.
To lead is to serve: "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave."
We are all leaders in some capacity. May we serve all the more heartily!