Leadership in Service

Matthew 20:17-28
Jer 18:18-20 / Psa 31

…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant…
(Matthew 20:26)

When we serve for our salvation
Don’t put your seat above the rest;
To be meek in our intention,
Is to be sure we serve Him best.

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the Twelve aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn Him to death, and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day He will be raised to life!” Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of Him. “What is it you want?” He asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” They answered, “We can.” Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:17-28)


The kind of leadership that our Lord Jesus taught has not always been the standard that the world recognizes as necessary to bring about success or profitability in the enterprise where it is employed. In most cases, the main motivation behind such leadership is personal gain or reward, where power is emphasized as the main ingredient, exactly the opposite of what our Lord Jesus taught and demonstrated.

At the last supper, Jesus showed His apostles what he meant when He stooped down and washed their feet, a service usually performed by the most menial servant in the house. Our Lord did this to show them (and us) that His leaders must have a servant attitude, expressing authentic humility in serving others that would inspire the served to become servant leaders themselves. Therefore, unlike the world’s standard, the primary motivation of true leadership should be a strong desire to serve others. The only way people can be motivated, inspired and empowered to serve others and become true leaders is by the example of their own leader’s character, integrity, willingness to sacrifice, and dedication to serve. This was how we were motivated by our Breakfast Head to share our life testimony in the breakfast meeting of another chapter in Butuan city, a five-hour drive from Davao this coming Saturday. His tireless effort in finding sharers for other communities inspired us to the core, and motivated us to arrange our schedules so that his efforts will not be in vain.

Again and again, Jesus teaches us to be humble, and make sacrifices by denying ourselves especially during this season of Lent. The best way to do this is to be of service to others. Not to persons of influence or wealth, or among our peers, but especially to the underprivileged, the poor and ignorant, the least of His children. Jesus said, “The poor will always be with you.” God has given them to us as our opportunities for greatness in His kingdom. These opportunities may come in small ways that we sometimes take for granted, but if we are sensitive to the Spirit’s bidding, we can be enriched by the experience.

Lord, make me a servant of Your kingdom, because it is in seeking to serve You through others that I can be great in Your Father’s eyes. AMEN.

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