A friend and I were chatting about Spiritual gifts the other day when he told me he believed his number one Spiritual gift was “leadership!” Knowing him pretty well, I gently urged him toward another selection, but he wouldn’t be swayed. “I’m gifted in lots of things Jim, but my main gift is leadership!” Now, my friend is a good man, but he has a tendency to get under people’s skin because he can be quite bossy. What’s more, it appears he enjoys being the boss a little too much, which can make people resent him. As I was thinking about our conversation later, I came upon a realization I hadn’t had before. My friend has confused being bossy with being a leader. What’s worse, the two are almost complete opposites from a Scriptural perspective. Still, in today’s society, being the “boss” is a status symbol–something to be pursued. Being “in charge” granted a person similar stature in Biblical times, and Jesus had much to say about it. Even more than what He said however, was how He demonstrated it… Leadership is accomplished by setting aside the “royal robes” and serving those around you in love… AND with reckless abandon! Most definitely not by being the most “bossy” person in the building! When, and if, we ever accomplish this “crucifying of self” as Christians (and as leaders), then, and only then, will we be worthy of being elevated in the eyes of those we lead.
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
“If you want to be truly great, the direction you must go is down!” Pastor Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church