Thursday, October 18, 2018

Reflections for Youth - Leadership Skills

"Be aware of people who brag about who they are.  
A lion will never have to tell that they're a lion."

A friend of mine posted this quote on Facebook this week. And it got me thinking about leadership. Great leaders should never have to tell you that they are great. We recognize great leaders by their actions and how they treat those who they are leading. 

In our scripture passage this week,  Jesus dishes out the simplest and most important leadership advice.

Read Mark 10: 35-45 

Jesus and the disciples are walking to Jerusalem and James and John have a questions. They ask Jesus if they can sit on either side of him when he "enters his glory." I can picture them arguing about this like my brother and I used to fight about who would sit up front in the car.

Jesus responds by saying that everyone is important to God and no one gets a more special place than anyone else.

Jesus talks about how they all drink from the same cup (hinting at what's to come when they share the last supper together?) and that he was baptized just like other followers. In verse 40, Jesus reminds them it is not for him to decide and the Kingdom of God has been prepared for God by all. 

The Bible says the other disciples get angry.  Maybe because that's not at all the answer they want to hear. Maybe because James and John asked before they got a chance.  Jesus gathers them up and points out that among the gentiles (non-Jewish people) the people that are considered the greatest leaders are tyrants over the people. He wants them to be different.  He wants them to be leaders that come not to be served, but to serve.

Jesus tells his followers that the best way to serve God is to serve others. He reminds them that he came to help people and show them God’s love and wants them to do the same.

Jesus takes this moment on the road say this to his followers:  “If you follow me, you won’t look for ways to show people how special you are. You will look for ways to serve, to care for people, all people.”

I think he might be reminding us that if you are in a position of leadership to be recognized and admired then you are barking up the wrong tree. Great leaders are the ones who's true agenda is to serve the people. 

Who do you consider a great leader?

What things can you do to serve others and lead by example this week? 

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