Are we serving those we have been called to lead, or are we making them serve us?
In Luke 22:26-30 the apostles are trying to figure out which of them is greater than the rest. The Lord gently points out that being the greatest really isn't the point. The greatest leaders are those that serve the people they lead, not those that sat on their jeweled throne and appointed orders. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints our leaders are not paid. Our Bishops do not take home a pretty pay check for their service to their wards. Instead they give up hours of their lives to serve their ward members. They are on call for those who need extra assistance and often are called away from their own families to serve other families. This is ultimate leadership. We follow our church leaders because they are selfless.
Our beloved prophet, Thomas S. Monson is the perfect example of a devoted leader. He is giving his life to the people of our church. He lovingly guides us and suggests ways that we can return to our Father in Heaven. He does not order us to do these things. He is not a dictator. He practices what he preaches. He is the example we should follow.
In Mark 10:43-45 I think it is saying that we are not chosen to be leaders (in the church) unless we are humble enough to serve in a position of power. Being a leader is not about lining up our followers and barking out orders; it’s about being humble and seeking to serve those who follow us. It’s a paradox. Serving others makes us greater in the eyes of the Lord, when He sees selfless service He will give us leadership positions. We don’t get this power by seeking for it, in fact, when we seek for this power we will lose it.
Leaders in the LDS church follow these principles. If they don’t they are not leaders for long. The people who hold the “big” callings, or those that are the biggest leader type positions, are those that serve the most and the hardest. Our Relief Society President sacrifices hours and hours to bless the sisters in our ward. She genuinely can say that she loves us all because she actually does. She devotes her life as the Relief Society President to finding the best way she can serve us individually and as a whole. She stays awake at night trying to think of how she can help the individual sisters in our ward as well as the whole group of sisters. She loses sleep over us! She weeps when we are lost, she prays for ways to bring us back. This is real leadership. LOVE those you are in charge of. Serve them, don’t expect them to serve you blindly. The things we are asked to do by our leaders are things that will benefit the ward as a whole, or individuals of the ward, and they are things that will make us better for following them.
So, what is a real leader? Someone who in their place of power seeks to serve instead of appoint. Lead through service. Be the example.
How can we become better leaders?