Learning to Lead?

Maybe I'm learning to lead.

Maybe not.

In recent weeks, God has been teaching me things I thought I knew. But guess I didn't. He's been impressing (sometimes impaling) me with his truth about what it means to lead the flock of God. It's a demanding role, but even more so because to lead in the church means servanthood. The last shall be first. Yeah, yeah, everybody knows that. I certainly thought I did. But God has lately been demanding a new level (depth?) of servanthood from me. He has been teaching me that:

the leader must be first to humble himself (or herself);
the leader must be first to empty himself (or herself);
the first to swallow his pride,
the first to admit wrong,
the first to confess,
the first to surrender his rights,
the first to let go of the need to be right,
the first to wash feet,
the first to forgive,
the first to take the log out of his own eye,
the first to initiate,
the first to be poured out,
the first to suffer,
the first to be crucified,
the first to lay down his life for the sheep.

Of course, in none of these areas are we ever actually FIRST. Jesus was first. First in loving us. First in serving. First in all of it.

It's fairly easy to be humble when you might be praised for it (oh, don't worry, I get the irony). But it's hard to humble yourself with little or no expectation of reciprocity from others. But that's what the Christ-ian leader is called to. It's what I am called to. If you're a pastor, it's what you are called to.

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