Recently, I attended a 2-day, leadership course as part of my role as a middle leader in my job as a teacher. It was challenging, humbling, enlightening and completely exhausting. There were many things I took away to work on and develop but one quote really stuck with me, “People quit their bosses, not their jobs”.
People enjoy their jobs, become more productive, more creative and are happy to go beyond their job description when they feel valued and empowered by their leader. It may be the way they believe in you, inspire and challenge you, trust you with responsibility or the way they supported you in difficulty that makes you want to work more for them. However, if a leader’s only priority is getting the project complete and reduces their team to cogs in the system, nothing will flourish and you’ll feel trapped and down-trodden and eventually want to leave.
You may not be a leader at work but we are all called to lead in some way as we follow Christ. Jesus was the perfect leader and at his most glorious moment when he had defeated death and was being raised back to heaven he said “Go and make disciples of all nations”. I believe the call to lead people to Christ is some thing that Jesus empowers and commands us all to do. We may not always see the final stage of conversion but the way we interact with people is very powerful and can make a significant difference on their journey.
So how did Christ lead and call us to lead?
Matthew 20:25-28 says 25 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. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 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.”
Leadership is not about keeping power to yourself, imposing authority over people and just getting the job done at all costs. Instead, we should lead with humility, putting others before ourselves and empowering them. If this is the way that Christ led when all authority is his, then how much more should we lead like this?
I wrote the first part of this blog before I was able to listen to the recording of the partners meeting on Wednesday. You can imagine my excitement when I heard our church leaders have a plan that empowers its staff, to empower its church, to empower our community. We are in a period of growth in Freedom Church, let’s step into what God’s empowered and called us to do, with a servant’s heart, just as Christ leads us.