20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus along with her sons. Bowing before him, she asked a favor of him. 21 “What do you want?” he asked. She responded, “Say that these two sons of mine will sit, one on your right hand and one on your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus replied, “You don’t know what you’re asking! Can you drink from the cup that I’m about to drink from?” They said to him, “We can.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left hand isn’t mine to give. It belongs to those for whom my Father prepared it.”
24 Now when the other ten disciples heard about this, they became angry with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that those who rule the Gentiles show off their authority over them and their high-ranking officials order them around. 26 But that’s not the way it will be with you. Whoever wants to be great among you will be your servant. 27 Whoever wants to be first among you will be your slave— 28 just as the Human One didn’t come to be served but rather to serve and to give his life to liberate many people.” Matthew 20:20-28, CEB
Another topic that I think we, in the church, don’t handle incredibly well is leadership. And I think the way we talk about leadership may have negative consequences for those trying to get and stay clean in a faith-based context.
What is the problem?
I have seen many, many presentations on leadership over the last 10 years or so. I tend to walk away from those conversations feeling a little crazy. More often than not, I hear people describe leadership as the ability to get others to do your will. Leaders are bosses, bosses need employees to accomplish the boss’s vision and, if the boss is able to coerce the employees to accomplish that vision, then the boss is a good leader.
This is a somewhat logical conclusion if leadership truly is about getting others to do your bidding. But, I can’t help but wonder, isn’t there more to it than that?