Leading by Example

“But whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant…. just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve . . .” (Matthew 20:26,28 NKJV).
 
  As believers, we would certainly all agree that Jesus is the ultimate example of leadership. Throughout his life on earth He gave us many examples of how effective leadership works, so we will look at a few of His characteristics in order to learn from His ways. First, Jesus led with a servant’s heart and specifically taught his followers how they were to conduct themselves in order to be Christ-like leaders. He said that gentile leaders lord it over those they lead, and they exercise their authority over them. In other words, the gentile leaders were prideful about their leadership roles and forced others into submission. Jesus advised, “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:26).
 
I remember once in our early years, Amy had received news that her great uncle, who was like a grandfather to her, was about to pass on. Although he was very old and ready to go, Amy was deeply saddened. I tried to cheer her up in several ways, but nothing seemed to help. Finally, I asked God what I could do to help make this easier on her. I should have done this in the beginning!
 
After praying, a very clear thought dropped in my heart: wash her feet. I almost laughed out loud because the thought seemed so ridiculous to me at the time. I responded, “God, she would laugh at me if I did that. I know Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, but that was many years ago. People don’t do things like that anymore. Can you give me another idea?” Again I had the clear thought to wash her feet. So finally I got a towel and a bucket filled with soap and water, went over to where she was sitting, and began to wash her feet. She lifted her head to look at me, her eyes filling with tears. Then I saw the tears stop and a big smile spread across her face. She said simply, “Shaun, I love you.”
 
When this happened I realized that Jesus’ example of being a servant leader is just as important today as it was when He walked the earth. Whether washing someone’s feet or just getting them a glass of water, I always remember my lesson from God: true love serves. My own human ideas failed to help my wife, but God knew what she needed all along. Whether with our spouse or our children, it is comforting to know that God always knows and is willing to give us the right answer.
 
With love, 
Pastors Shaun & Amy