The intersection of Humility and Dynamic Leadership I

Posted: February 19, 2013 in Leadership, Serving others
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Humility, at its most basic biblical definition, means knowing who you are in Christ. Our identity in Christ is the only sufficient tool that helps bring us freedom from arrogance and pride. We understand that in ourselves, we don’t measure up, will never measure up, but in Christ, all things are possible, including submission to God and others. Humility is most often demonstrated through sacrificial love of other people.

Radical submission to Christ can be practiced by doing whatever we know Christ wants us to do –whatever the anticipated consequences. We put His desires first, and in so doing, our own desires are, over time, transformed to be like His.

Dynamic leadership can be understood through three words: vision, influence and motivation. A dynamic Christian leader casts a big dream vision and helps others discover the big dream vision God has for their lives. She influences and motivates people to move forward in their walk with Christ and personal growth.

When we look at all three concepts together, we see an upside-down model of Godly leadership. Instead of a leader who uses and manipulates people to meet his own agenda, we see a leader who lives to serve others, and meet their God-given agenda. Of course, this is the opposite of what we frequently expect from our bosses and CEO’s, and it is only possible for the leader who understands his identity in Christ and realizes the incredible power of submission and service.

Philippians 2 provides an excellent picture of the leader-servant, and Paul bases the picture on the example of Christ. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. . .Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Phil. 2:3,5-8).

If we look more closely at Jesus’ teaching and example, we can see that Jesus’ ministry was founded on helping others achieve success (John 15:15-16). If our Creator, Lord and King can humble Himself to be one of us, call us “friend,” die for us, and take on the nature of a servant – I have a hard time coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t have a similar attitude.

Paul also taught and practiced a similar form of leadership. In 1 Thessalonians 2, he emphasizes how he was not a burden to the Thessalonians, but instead was gentle, like a mother caring for her children. In Galatians, he encourages us to “bear one another’s burdens.” And of course, we already saw in Philippians how Paul encouraged us, on the basis of Christ’s example, to have a humble, servant attitude.

In 1 Peter 5, the apostle Peter also highlights the need for elders to be “eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to them.” When Peter uses that last phrase, he is harkening back to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 20:25-28, where Jesus says that the one who wants to be great must first be a servant – just as Jesus himself came to serve, not to be served.

The Intersection of Humility and Dynamic Leadership II

The Intersection of Humility and Dynamic Leadership III

  1. […] The Intersection of Humility and Dynamic Leadership I […]

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