Tag Archives: leadership

To be great you must be servant of the rest

good leadrship

The wife of Zebedee came to Jesus with her two sons, bowed before Him and asked Him for a favour.

“What do you want?” Jesus asked her.

She answered, “Promise me that these two sons of mine will sit at your right and your left when you are king.”

“You don’t know what you are asking for,” Jesus answered the sons. “Can you drink the cup of suffering that I am about to drink?”

“We can,” they answered.

“You will indeed drink from my cup,” Jesus told them, “but I do not have the right to choose who will sit at my right and my left. These places belong to those whom my father has prepared them.”

When the other ten disciples heard about this, they became angry with the two brothers. So Jesus called them all together and said, “You know that the rulers of the heathen have power over them, and the leaders have complete authority.

This however, is not the way it shall be among you. If one of you wants to be great, he must be the servant of the rest; and if one of you wants to be first, he must be your slave-like the Son of Man, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life to redeem many people.” (Matthew 20: 20-28).

Ninety per cent of the leaders I’ve met or heard of believe leadership entails sitting on the high chair (think throne), barking orders. “Do this, do that…” But Jesus talks of a different kind of leadership. One where the leader doesn’t sit back and watch his subjects work tirelessly, but goes out and does whatever needs to be done himself.

He even gives an example of Himself. He says a leader, like the Son of Man, must be a servant of the rest. One who serves, as opposed to being served. Many people have it all twisted. The modern day leadership is characterized by greed, tyranny, misuse of power, where the underprivileged are brutally oppressed.

In the spirit of fairness, I have seen some leaders who take part in charity works and all, but in most cases there is always a catch. They do it to gain more popularity. This means any humanitarian work they do is driven by personal interests. So I’m always left wondering, if there was nothing to gain from helping people, would this leaders do it in the first place?

It’s good to help, but I believe it is hypocritical to always show up in a place where people are suffering, accompanied by photographers and reporters so they can spread the news. How about helping secretly? There’s really no need telling everyone who one helped if the intentions are pure.

I know not everyone who reads my posts is a Christian, but wouldn’t it be a great thing if we had leaders who didn’t discriminate? Leaders who didn’t trample on the weak? Leaders who served people with one heart, without focusing on personal gains? Imagine if we had leaders who desired to serve than to be served?

Anyone can be that leader, if we let love be our guide; if we stopped discriminating; if we focused on the greater good. Feeding the hungry without expecting anything in return; rehabilitating the homeless…there’s so much leaders could do. But as it turns out, most are blinded by their desire to better their own lives; amassing their personal wealth, living lavish lives…etc.

If everyone who desired to be elected/appointed a leader was guaranteed their lives would be no less difficult than Jesus’, would they take those posts? Leadership isn’t just about personal gains, but about serving one’s subjects. That is the precedent set by Jesus, the king of kings. He taught us to suffer for others, and that is what leadership is about.

Holy Week

Palm Sunday marked the beginning of Holy week. It’s the last week of the Lenten season, when we commemorate the death of Christ on Good Friday and subsequently His resurrection on Easter Sunday. It’s a significant period in a Christian’s life because it reminds us of Christ’s triumph over death; thus encouraging us to persevere because if we do, we too–like Him-shall be conquerors. The last three days before Easter Sunday; i.e. Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday are the most important of this season.

On Holy Thursday, we celebrated the last supper, when Jesus washed His Disciples’ feet, and shared His body and blood with them in the form of bread and wine before being betrayed by Judas Iscariot, which was the beginning of His passion and eventually His death on the cross.

Ever since I can remember, my favourite part of the Holy Thursday mass has always been the part where the priest washes some faithful’s feet, imitating how Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. Even as a child, I remember being fascinated by the thought. It’s hard to fathom a priest washing people’s feet because in all honesty, I consider that part of the body to be one of the dirtiest- relatively speaking. For one to be able to do it, they must have tonnes of humility, because simply put, it’s a gesture of self-effacement.

Pope Francis washing faithful's feet

It even becomes harder to fathom Jesus, the son of the Almighty God, doing the same thing. He, the king of kings, chose to wash His disciples’ feet to show them how to treat people. After He had finished washing their feet He asked them, “Do you understand what I have just done to you? You call me teacher and Lord, and it is right that you do so, because that is what I am. I, your Lord and teacher, have just washed your feet. You then, should wash one another’s feet. I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you…” (John 13: 12-16).

I look at the leaders we have today and each time I find myself wondering, how many would lower themselves the way Jesus did? Washing their servants’ feet? Majority of the leaders we have today expect to be served than to serve. Most of them wouldn’t be caught dead partaking in things which would seem to compromise their dominance; their superiority over the rest of the populace.

Jesus taught His disciples to attend to their own subjects; to desire to serve than to be served. As we come to the end of Lent that’s an important lesson to remember; to learn to be humble, regardless of our social status.

Today, Good Friday is essentially a day when we commemorate Christ’s death. It’s the saddest day in church, devoid of all the celebrations that are characteristic of an ordinary mass. Due to this, the faithful are supposed to observe silence; basically to reflect on the idea of Jesus sacrificing Himself for the salvation of mankind. It’s a day of penance when fasting and abstinence should be observed.

Jesus nailed on the cross

On Holy Saturday, there’s the vigil mass. This mass is celebrated at night as a way of keeping watch, awaiting Christ’s resurrection during the night. In this mass, new members are baptized to initiate them into the church; the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation are also given. Other members of the church renew their baptismal vows.

The three days (Easter Triduum) are crowned with the celebration of Easter Sunday; the morning after Christ’s resurrection.

We’re nearing the end of the lent season. A period of reflecting deeply on our lives as Christians and the relationship we have with God. It’s also a period when people are asked to repent; to atone for their transgressions. As I mentioned in the beginning of lent, I know not everyone is a Christian; but the fact that we’re all human makes us prone to sin and it’s therefore imperative that we take some time to see what wrongs we’ve committed and to be sorry for them.