Some people think of Jesus as just a good guy, others as a prophet, some as a sage, and yet others as the Messiah, God, and Savior. At one level or another, Jesus is almost universally admired. Yet, few people consider him as a relevant leadership model for their lives.
Jesus gave birth to a method of leadership. Throughout history, all the great kings, queens, and emperors have measured their strength, power, and greatness by their wealth and the number of servants they ruled over. But the greatest leader of all time, did not come to be served. Jesus came to serve.
This is today’s difficult teaching…
“He rose from supper and took off his outer garments. Then he took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. . . . When he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”
It is from John’s Gospel, chapter 13, verse 4-15.
Jesus had the heart of a servant.
Even some of his disciples were expecting him to use his power to rule in some earthly capacity, but again Jesus’ methods of leadership were very different from anything that had ever been experienced before. For thousands of years, kings, queens, and emperors had been sending their people off to die for them. Jesus was the only leader who chose to die for his people.
Jesus’ whole method of leadership focused on turning the hierarchy upside down. The model of leadership that Christ himself left us was one of service and sacrifice.
If you use your power – and believe me we all have some – to make people do things they don’t want to do, you are not a leader; you are just another dictator or tyrant. But if you can inspire people to do things that are difficult but good for them and their community, then you are a leader.
The most effective leaders operate based on authenticity not authority. Our own times have an abundance of so-called leaders standing at the crossroads pointing us down a path they have never traveled themselves. But what we need are authentic leaders, men and women willing to lead humanity along the right path with the example of their own lives.
The laws of authentic leadership seem to have been universally proven throughout human history, whether in business, in battle, in the sporting arena, or in the Church.
At different times, we are called upon as leaders. Some as mothers and fathers, others as CEOs and presidents. Whatever form of leadership we are called to, let us exercise it with one thing in mind: we are here to serve and lead others in powerful service.
Jesus had the heart of a servant, and he offers us a heart transplant. He offers to remove our diseased and broken heart and replace it with his Sacred Heart.
Watch the video!