This important excerpt from Scott Sauls’ book on leadership must be given serious consideration in our day and age. Haven’t we seen enough to understand the limits and failure of human-defined leadership? We need a different standard. We need a higher form of leadership – the kind of leadership exhibited by Christ. Anything less is not leadership in any real, substantive sense.
Jesus offers a radically different understanding of what it means to be a leader. His vision for leadership often parts ways with the typical American view of such things. For example:
In America, credentials qualify a person to lead. In Jesus, the chief qualification is character.
In America, what matters most are the results we produce. In Jesus, what matters most are the kinds of people we are becoming.
In America, success is measured by material accumulation, power, and the positions that we hold. In Jesus, success is measured by material generosity, humility, and the people whom we serve.
In America, it is shameful to come in last and laudable to come in first. In Jesus, the first will be last and the last will be first.
In America, leaders make a name for themselves to become famous and sometimes treat Jesus as a means to that end. In Jesus, leaders make his name famous and treat their own positions, abilities, and influence as a means to that end.
In America, leaders crave recognition and credit. In Jesus, leaders think less of themselves and give credit to others.
In America, leaders compare and compete so they will flourish. In Jesus, leaders sacrifice and serve so others will flourish.
In America, leadership often means “My glory and happiness at your expense.” In Jesus, leadership always means “Your growth and wholeness at my expense.”
In America, the strong and powerful rise to the top. In Jesus, the meek inherit the earth.