“Whoever wishes to be great among you, shall be your servant.” (Mark 10:45)
Forgotten words today. In an editorial cartoon, the words I, me, mine, myself were shaped into a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid stood thousands of worshippers with their arms lifted high in praise. A caption read, “ … And speaking of American cults.”
“Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant.”
Jesus spoke those words to His disciples before His impending death. They were jostling for the right to sit on thrones next to Jesus when He appeared to set up His earthly millennial kingdom. To sit beside the King Himself meant personal honor, recognition, human glory, power and authority, and values representing the value system of the culture. Leaders were expected to pursue these ideals if they desired greatness.
When leaders seek greatness for themselves, they become what I call “power leaders.” Jesus labeled secular “rulers of the Gentiles” and “high officials” as power leaders because they “lord it over” their constituents and “exercise authority over them.” Those are different phrases, but they mean the same thing: power over others for personal benefit. It’s how power leaders demonstrate their power today: domineering, top down, autocratic, command-and-control leadership. It says, “I’m in charge here. You’re here for me. You do what I say.”
Check out some characteristics of power leaders:
• PL want to control everything and everybody. They must be in control.
• PL enjoy being seen. They want recognition.
• PL keep the focus on themselves and what they want.
• PL are consumed with self-interest.
• PL are willing to manipulate, intimidate, eliminate, slander, abuse, ridicule, criticize – anything to get their own way.
• PL make all the decisions.
• PL demand obedience and command loyalty.
• PL love telling people what to do.
• PL always remind followers of who is in charge.
Power leadership or command-and-control authority is only out for itself and it changes no one.
“Whoever wishes to be great among you, shall be your servant.”
Dr. Fred Campbell is president of Living Grace Ministries, a ministry committed to developing servant leaders in the United States and around the world. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.livingraceministrties.com. He and his wife Carolyn live in Ovilla.