Real Leadership Means Sacrifice, Not Honor.

The mom of the apostles James and John had just asked Jesus to let her boys sit in places of honor next to Jesus. It’s just like a mama to want the best for her children, no matter their age.

Jesus looked at the men and told them they had no idea what this request would result in, but they said they were ready for whatever came. He then explained that HE didn’t choose who sat where, that was the Father’s choice.

The other ten apostles heard what was going on and were miffed by the request. Here these two who were no better than they were asking for special privileges. Who did they think they were?!?

Jesus slowed everything down for a moment and explained that this “honor” was no honor. That while the leaders they saw in their culture were revered, seen as ultimate authority, and who reveled in their power, the leaders of God’s Kingdom would not be so. This new Kingdom leader would be one who sacrificed for those he/she led, serving them instead of being served. Rebuked and reviled instead of revered.

We do the same today. We jockey for positions in business, family, and ministry. We think the goal is to hold great power and authority when what we should be seeking is how to serve those we feel called to lead.

Dare I say that a church leader who is high on a pedestal, reveling in their celebrity is not a true leader in the Kingdom of God? No, I won’t say that, but I think those who work with that one and serve with or under them should be doing some evaluation.

Our Leader, Jesus, gave His life for us—not just on that cross, but throughout His life. He who existed before Creation left heaven to be born as a created being. He lived within the restrictions of being human. He walked the land giving of Himself. All of these long before He felt the first grasp of hands taking Him into custody.

This is how we’re to lead. We’re not to drive followers, we’re to walk out in front, showing them the way, revealing all it means to live a Kingdom Life.

Believer, today, if you’re a leader in any capacity—parent, mentor, teacher, ministry leader, pastor—check yourself to be sure you’re choosing well the path of leadership Jesus spoke of. If you’re not, correct your course, please! We need you serving in the place God designed you for. If you are, thank you! We’re grateful you’re that Kingdom leader Jesus spoke of.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

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Faye Bryant

Faye Bryant is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals escape the lies of the enemy, live into God’s truth, and build a better life by first feeling, dealing, and healing their way through a stuck future or an abused past, toward a deeper path of purpose, and into the unhackable life of their chosen legacy. Hers is a story of resurrection: from death to life!