By Pastor Mitch Miller
Jesus created you to lead something and enjoy doing so.
Right now, believe it or not, you are a leader. You lead yourself, your family, your community, your friend group, your co-workers, and, perhaps, you lead at Griggs.
The word leadership can strike a nerve. We’ve all had leadership experiences where we feel like we’re banging our head against a wall. Typically, it’s because we’re trying to be good leaders rather than Christian leaders.
There’s a difference between what the world calls “good leadership” and Christian leadership. Christian leadership is leading like Jesus, the greatest leader to ever lead.
Throughout the gospels we see hundreds of leadership lessons from Jesus but three stick out to us at Griggs.
Jesus Says to Lead Yourself First
“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” Matthew 5:7
Similar to Deltas advice of adjust your own oxygen mask before helping others, Jesus says to get the log out of your eye before trying to remove the speck from your brothers eye.
If you’re not repentant, you can’t lead others to repentance. If you’re not honest, you can’t lead others to the truth. If you’re not following Jesus, then those who follow you won’t be either.
First and foremost, Christian leadership is about dedicating oneself to moving forward in our relationship with God, for the glory of God and our own good.
Christian Leadership is Serving Others
“But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” Matthew 23:11
Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. It’s one of the most incredible scenes in scripture. The ultimate Master, takes on the duties of a humble servant and washes the feet of the twelve. He then tells them to do the same for each other.
- The world says a good leader is whoever has the most people serving them. Christian leadership says a leader is whoever is serving the most people.
- Good leadership’s goal is ascending (for example, climbing a corporate ladder). Christian leadership’s goal is descending.
- Good leaders are those who are lifted up. Christian leaders are those who lift others up.
At Griggs when we promote a leader, we’re actually putting them lower than others in the congregation. A volunteer lifts up members, a director lifts up volunteers, a deacon lifts up the rest of the congregation.
Christian Leadership Results in Multiplication
“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying. . .as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 10:5-7
Jesus comes on the scene around the age of thirty years old. He starts performing miracles in different places and wherever he shows up he preaches “The kingdom of God is at hand.”
After gathering his twelve disciples he gives them a chance to do the same.
He sends them out to do what they’ve seen him do. Christian leadership is all about replicating yourself by giving others an example and a chance.
I preach the best I can. Then, when another guy in our church is called to preach I give him a chance to preach. This is how the kingdom multiplies.
If you lead in kids ministry, lead someone else to do the same. If you’re a good dad, lead someone else to be the same. If you’re an effective manager, lead a co-worker to be the same.
Sure, leadership can be incredibly difficult. Like we said, it can feel like you’re banging your head against the wall, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, I’ve known some of my greatest joys while in leadership. But if I look back at those seasons of joy I see that, for a time, by God’s grace, my leadership lined up with Jesus’ leadership.
Mitch Miller has served as the pastor of Griggs since the fall of 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchmillerme.