February 8, 2024 Devotional

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 – Philippians 2:5-6

I’ve been thinking about leadership a lot lately. It could be that in my leadership roles, I have come to highly appreciate the leaders in my life, including Bishop Webb, and the leaders that serve with me in the local church, the annual conference, and the Global Methodist Church. Every leader has a distinct set of gifts to serve in a particular way with people God has entrusted them to lead. And, with the responsibility of leadership, especially as followers of Jesus, comes a high standard of accountability and humility.

No matter what gifts a leader has, in order to grow and thrive as a leader, that person must have a calling to lead and the grace to lead. That calling may be more widely in existence than we think, but in order to lead, one must answer that call, if called. The other pursuit, grace, is critical for when that leader steps up to lead. If both of those – calling and grace – are present (even if in their infancy), then the person who is asked to lead can begin the process of learning to lead.

So, what does that all have to do with the verse for today? Jesus was a leader. That’s probably an understatement since he was and is the Son of God and Darling of Heaven. However, Jesus’ earthly ministry was one of leadership, based on a calling from the Father, and empowered by grace by way of the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ earthly ministry of leadership, while fully human and fully divine, gives us a clear picture of the KIND of leader Jesus was, and, how he expects us, as leaders and those who are led, to live out our discipleship in this way. The ancient hymn in Philippians 2 states that Jesus, even though he is God, did not make his divinity the only thing that informed his leadership. If you were to read on in this hymn, you’d read that he humbled himself, sacrificed it all (even death) for the sake of those whom he led to salvation through his resurrection. He was called to lead, had the grace to invite others to follow, and was filled with humility in order to serve well and finally for salvation.

If you are a leader, don’t lose sight of this model of leadership from Jesus. Answer the call. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with grace. And take on the humility of Jesus. If you are being led, then pray for your leaders. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you, as well, with grace for her or him. Help your leader take on the humility of Jesus through mutual accountability and helping your leader lead better for the Kingdom. We need healthy leaders who are called and graceful, humble and holy. Jesus is showing us the way to go. May our leaders be following well and closely the One who is leading us all.