"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature o f a servant"... (NIV)
In Chapter 2 of the Book of Philippians, Paul give us 4 great examples of leaders in the Christian church that exemplified extraordinary leadership qualities throught both their actions and their attitude. You heard it said in times past: "your attitude determines your altitude!". This is the 1st in a "4-part series" on "Great Examples of Biblical Leadership. Our "1st example" and rightfully so is "The One" who is the "head" of all Principalities and Powers: Jesus Christ!
I. "Jesus A Leader above all Leaders with a "Name" that is above all Names"
In Jesus Christ, we have our "greatest example" of Leadership Biblically or not bar none. Jesus the man was totally focussed on the purpose of his earthly birth and completely submissive to the will of God the father. In HIM, is shown the purest example of why every Servant of God must be both single minded in focus and completely submissive to the will of God, no matter the odds and obstacles thrown in our way.
If you read the entire Gospel of John, you will discover that Jesus constantly reminded the disciples and other believers that all of the work he was doing for the kingdom of God was orchestrated by God himself. Jesus, in his humanity said he was simply "submitting" to the will of God. Jesus said in John 9:4 “I must work the work of him that sent me while it is day; the night comes when no man can work”. Jesus also said in John 4:34 “My mission is to do the work of Him that sent me and finish the work”. In the New Testament, there are a total of 15 places where Jesus confirmed he was sent by God to do the will of God. This says to the Christian believer that just like Jesus was, we must believe we were all born for a "specific purpose" in the "divine plan of God!" We must find out what the will of God is for our lives and be dilligent in our efforts to do it. Once we are told by God what his mission is for our lives, we must willingly waived our rights to do what we wish to do in life and totaslly embrace the mission assigned to us by HIM.
Jesus Christ is our “greatest” example in every aspect of life. which is why God gave this mandate to us: “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) The servant of God must do like Jesus Christ did while he served God on earth and even as he continues to serve in heaven as our Great High Priest and soon coming King. Believe it or not, we all have a "triune role" just like Jesus in relation to the ministry we give to his people.
First, we are prophets, in the sense that we "proclaim the Word of God" through preaching and teaching to a world full of peoplr that are living in sin. Second, we are priests, (part of a royal priesthood) in the sense we "intercede for families, communities, and church congregations" through giving advocate assistance wherever we can on the mission field, as well as praying for the masses. Third, we are “king’s children though not kings. This means as being "pecular people, a royal priesthood, and part of a holy nation", we have been called to be "exemplary leaders" and to exhibit Biblical leadership qualities through evangelism, public service, living lives of godly integrity and teaching the Word of God without "theolgical error", that is, to "rightly dividing the word of truth!" (2 Timothy 2:15) Our mission as spelled out in the "Great Commission of Mathew 28:19-20 is to "compel the masses" of the world to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. We are to compel the people to "lay aside every weight and the sin that thus so easily beset us all" as they are to strive to live holistic, godly lives.
II. Jesus: A man of Humility
As a man, Jesus humbled himself further and became obedient to the fact that only his death on the cross would redeem man. He literally submitted himself to that death on the cross. The plan of salvation was already set in heaven (Revelation 13:8) even before Jesus Christ came physically here on this earth to die on the cross to fulfill the “pre-plan”, yet Jesus did just that. He prays in the Garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26:38-41: twice: "Yet not as I will, but Thy (God the father) will be done".
Before his arrest in the garden, he totally submits to dying for the salvation of man. He subjugated himself to public scrutiny and ridicule. He faced a kangaroo court called in the middle of the night orchestrated by the Sanhedrin Council. (Matthew 27) He was marched from judgment hall to judgment hall. He allowed himself to be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace to be placed upon him, and with his stripes, we all received healing. (Isaiah 53) Here was God, the Creator and Sovereign Master of the Universe, humbling himself, coming down from heaven to an "corrupted" earth full of people who were lost because of the "sin and fall" of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
III. What Does His Example Mean to Us
In order for us to follow the example of Jesus Christ, we must live our daily lives in the following manner as Jesus did.
A. First, As we live in the newnewss of life through Jesus Christ
As a Christian leader,we must refrain from seeking to create any certain type of reputation. Simply put, as Christians, ministers, believers, and leaders etc.., we must simply live out our salvation on a daily basis with fear (holy reverence for God) trembling, (humble submission) (Philippians 2:12) grow spiritually as we minister the Word of God to everyone. If we are privileged to obtain titles, positions or the like, we are to be known by our service and not by our title or position. It has been said in this manner: God is not that concerned about our “judicial” position, but God is concerned about our “spiritual” condition.
B. Second, we are to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.
We must strive to become completely obedient to God, even if it means being wounded on the battlefield or our death as we serve in this great ministry. A christian leader must be disciplined and stay focus on the evangelistic mission God has called us all to. Remember: If we are to be exalted or elevated in any manner to any public position, it is God that will exalt us and give our name and or title "credibility", (Philippians 2:9) not in the sense that our name will be above every name, or we are above anybody, but in the sense that the "position" we hold in Jesus Christ pertaining to the work of the ministry will stand out in the same manner of the prophets, preachers and teachers before us in history and even in the present. Our personal goal should be to seek God’s approval,(Galatians 1:10) not the approval of men. When we find favor with God and in turn, God will give us favor with men.
C. Third, whatever we do for the ministry, even in our personal life, we are supposed do those things, stiriving to do them without murmuring (complaining) and disputes.
That being said, "we must refrain from constantly arguing among ourselves and with those we minister to." (Philippians 2:14) We are to do all we can to get along with each other and to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ without personal controversy. Nowhere in Scripture will you find any argument between Jesus and his disciples. There were times when he had to correct "certain misconceptions" about the "path" of the mission and the "method" by which certain things would be done, but no one argued with him. The Church’s covenant found in the Baptist Hymnal and posted in many Baptist churches addresses this very issue. This applies to that part of the covenant that states that : "every believer is required to watch over each other in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and in distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in our feelings, courtesy and in our speech; being slow to take offense, but always ready to reconcile any differences, keeping in mind the rules and principles of the Word of God, securing them without delay! A great leader in the Christian faith lives in and with the love God placed within them . So as we go forth carrying out that Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20, Leaders, present yourselves to the world blameless and harmless. God bless you all!