The business world is increasingly seeking and hiring humble leaders, as it has become clear that in this global competitive economy no one person has the answer; leaders must create space for others to contribute. But we need more, says Google SVP Lazlo Bock: “intellectual humility. Without humility, you are unable to learn.”
Before we delve into the Word to study humility as a foundation for great leadership, look at this short video on the topic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I402GCrolUk).
Luke 22:24-30 [NLT]
24 Then [the disciples] began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. 25 Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.
28 “You have stayed with me in my time of trial. 29 And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right 30 to eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Observation and Reflection Questions
Context: This conversation between Jesus and his twelve disciples occurred during the last supper, the evening of his arrest. Jesus announced one from among them would betray him, and their discussion quickly escalated from denial to self-estimation, competitiveness and ranking of greatness.
- In response their contention for greatness, Jesus said his disciples should be different from the world. In your own world describe how Jesus’ view of leadership and greatness is different from contemporary society?
- How did Jesus model this leadership to his disciples (as portrayed in this text)?
- Is it wrong to aspire to leadership? Motivate from this text.
Personal reflection and application questions
Clearly the Bible has no problem with leaders wielding authority – it is an entrustment of God for his purpose. Yet Jesus said that his disciples should not lead as the world does: they must not be self-serving leaders but rather selfless servant-leaders as he modeled.
- Is Jesus’ teaching relevant to our context today?
- Where have you witnessed what Jesus refers to as “the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’”?
- Where have you ever witnessed “the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant”?
- Can you identify with the disciple’s competitiveness and judgmentalism? [Do you discern the root problem here?]
- Recall an instance when you esteemed yourself more qualified or important than others. Why did it happen?
- Recall an instance when you cowered away from taking the lead (when you should have) because you esteemed yourself less qualified or important than others. Why did it happen?
- Jesus was talking about leadership, rank and authority in this context. In your own words write a few pointers on “HOW TO LEAD WITH AUTHORITY” contrasting contemporary leadership models with Christ’s model for leadership using this set of descriptors: Self-serving leadership vs Selfless serving leadership.
Prayerfully reflect your style and ambition for leadership as you on Jesus’ model of leadership as you meditate on our Lord’s message “I am among you as one who serves.”