Not So With You
Christian leaders are not CEO’s, top-of-the-ladder bosses, or self-appointed gurus. We don’t influence others through human power, clever schemes, or worldly techniques. We don’t lord over others with what Jesus referred to as Gentile rulership (Mark 10:42).
When describing this type of fleshly leadership to his disciples, Jesus succinctly stated his expectation in four words: “Not so with you” (Mark 10:43). I love the straightforward simplicity of Jesus, don’t you?
This is not hard to understand; the message is quite clear. It’s plain and to the point. Christ’s followers are not to adopt leadership philosophies or practices rooted in earthly, selfish greed and vain, image-oriented cravings. A thousand rejections of leadership where the core is man-centered and self-indulgent.
Instead, we serve like Christ. Yes, sacrificial servanthood is how Jesus instructed his disciples to lead. In fact, Jesus repeated, even illustrated, this clear command in John 13 when, after washing the disciples feet, he boldly commanded, “I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you” (verse 15).
Today, when you’re tempted to lead like the pagans, remember what Jesus said: “Not so with you.” When you’re frustrated and want to resort to manipulation, remember what Jesus said: “Not so with you.” When you’re angry and want to retaliate, remember what Jesus said: “Not so with you.” When you’re thinking you got overlooked and want to regain position, remember what Jesus said: “Not so with you.” When you’re worried someone is going to climb ahead of you on the corporate ladder, remember what Jesus said: “Not so with you.”
That’s right—whether as a wife, husband, parent, employee, employer, church member, small group leader, elder, deacon, ministry director, event coordinator, or a hundred other ways we potentially impact others—leadership is all about lovingly serving, not lording over. It’s about willing sacrifice, not worldly selfishness. As Jesus put it, “whoever would be great among you must be your servant” (Mark 10:43).
This was the life of Christ in response to the Father’s will. No wonder he continued in Mark 10 with these words, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (verse 45).
In every opportunity for impact and each encounter for the gospel, let’s lead today like Jesus.