Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called benefactors. But not so among you, on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet, I am among you as the One who serves.
It can be deduced from the scripture that the disciples of Jesus were disputing among themselves on what should be the yardstick for assessment of true Greatness. In fact, they had another definition for what Greatness is or what Greatness should be. But the dispute amongst them meant they couldn’t compare what they believed or what they used to know with what they saw their master, Jesus does. They had to meet with Jesus to clarify and teach them what Greatness really mean.
The ancient Greek practiced leadership in a monarchal way where, those who were in position of power usually exhibited their power by lording and oppressing people, this they believed was the true measure of leadership and Greatness. In fact, they also believed they had more esteem when they exercised their authority over people. Though, this hindered growth among themselves but they were blinded from the truth.
With this, the disciples asked their master, what the best form of leadership should be, and His model for Greatness was service.
Service is a system supplying public need or the action of helping or doing work for someone or a group of people. It is also a valuable action, deed or effort performed to satisfy a need or fulfill a demand.
From the above definition, service can be said to be people-oriented. The act of meeting the needs of people through both tangible and intangible means.
Service Leadership is not just a form of leadership that just evolved but started when the savior came on earth. The birth of Jesus brought about a new form of leadership that focused on how people’s need could be met above their personal interest. Jesus’ denial of himself and service to humanity made him function as the most effective leader who ever lived.
Jesus’ teaching and practices on leadership was centered on how people’s need could be met, how they could be set free from their captivity and redeemed. In fact, he exercised his Almighty power to ensure that the multitude following him were satisfied and in good condition before he left them. It was accounted in the New Testament on how Jesus provided meals to the multitude, he performed miracles, knowing well that his mandate to redeem and save people will never be accomplished until those he was sent to were alright, well and strong.
Isaiah 61:1-3: The spirit of the lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed me To preach good tidings to the poor, He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of Joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Jesus used his spiritual resources for the salvation, redemption and freedom of the people he was sent to.
In this part of the world, the concept for leadership has been taken has a means of exercising superiority power on the masses. In fact, those who are in political position took it as an opportunity to embezzle and steal whatever they could from the Government treasury instead of utilizing the resources to meet the needs of the masses. Political or Leadership role has been taken as an opportunity to increase their popularity and fame; In fact, their fame was dependent on how rich they had become, after stealing from the government treasury and escaped from legal bodies.
In conclusion, from the life of this exemplary leader, Jesus, we can deduce that any form of leadership aside to Humanity is Oppression. Jesus was a serving leader who was humble enough to come to the level of those he was sent to, not minding His Heavenly wealth and position as the son of the living God. He knew Leadership is all about satisfying the needs of the masses and not things, buildings or system. And He taught that anyone who wants to be great must be humble enough to serve…
OYEDARE ISRAEL OLAMIDE