Jesus’ Positive Example
As Jesus makes his way toward Jerusalem to be executed, the mother of James and John requests that her sons be given a preferred seat, next to Jesus, in the kingdom of heaven. Both the disciples and their families have become preoccupied with status rather than serving. They have missed the whole point of Jesus’ leadership.
Jesus tells them plainly that his style of leadership stands in stark contrast to the world’s. He teaches that the greatest must be the servant. Leadership is about adding value, not getting perks – Maxwell’s Law of Addition: Leaders are to add value, not take it away.
King Ahaziah’s Negative Example
What impact can godless character have on leaders and nations? We ﬁnd out in the life of King Ahaziah (2 Chronicles 22:1–9). The young king and several other political and military leaders lost their lives and their positions through a self-centered pursuit of power.
This chapter in Chronicles is a negative example of a positive truth. These leaders forgot that they must serve their people and their purpose. Leaders are not given authority to better themselves, to enlarge their income or social status, or to improve their standard of living. They are first and always servants of others.
Jesus’ Example of Servant Leadership
The biblical concept of servant leadership appears throughout the Scripture but finds special emphasis in the Gospels through the teaching of Jesus Christ. Consider what our Lord teaches us:
1. Pursuit of power and prestige
2. Improve wealth and status of the leader
3. See others as enemies and competitors
4. Motive is to remove or kill opposition
5. The result: the leader is glorified
1. Pursuit of love and service to others
2. Improve the welfare of the people
3. See others as brothers who complement
4. Motive is to meet needs and grow the cause
5. The result: God is glorified
The younger you are, the more liberties you have with your time, vocabulary, and money. But as you grow into leadership, you deliberately surrender those rights and options. Leaders must never forget that God calls them to serve.
Drawn from content in the NIV Maxwell Leadership Bible