Who is our model of leadership? Hopefully, as the 3rd largest Catholic Nation in the World — Christ would be our direct response. More so, it is likewise our hope that we be nurtured and shaped by Jesus’ servant leadership. Making Jesus our model in serving others.
Bishop Teodoro Bacani enlightened us on what is meant in serving others. He emphasized the importance of understanding the passage from Mark 10:45: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The scriptural passage highlighted the notion that serving is not simply giving something to others. It is not also fulfilling the needs of others. But it is the giving of self and the giving of Jesus Christ’s life that culminated in the Calvary.
Jesus Christ is the center of our leadership formation. Christ is the framer, the redeemer, and the liberator. Amid the darkness, Jesus Christ is our light. Jesus is our inspiration in giving life for others to live. Christ is our GOD and He is the source of the purest intention about servanthood. In Philippians 2:5-11 Christological Leadership was summarized in the following thoughts: (1) Jesus’ leadership is the core of Servanthood; (2) Our Unselfish Mindset should be up front and center; (3) Self-Emptying Service is the key; and (4) Teaching and Modelling should likewise characterize Servant Leadership.
Christ acts with an unselfish attitude. He does not need to defend or protect an image of self because he is aware of his true self. There may be a mutuality of self-giving in this leadership style and follower response. Christ displayed the unselfish mindset by being “in the form of God” (Phil. 2:6) but not grasping this equality with God. Jesus’ unselfish mindset manifests thru concrete actions.
He showed it by being with the lowly and the marginalized people. Jesus tells stories in the gospel to lighten the messages of the old prophets. He does not want to be the center of everything but he inspires people to what God wants about humanity and the whole creation. Philippians 2:5-11 reveals the authentic Christological leadership model of Jesus.
When Jesus identified himself with the ordinary people, it is inspiring us to be simple. In the current Philippine context, there is an obvious need for effective leadership. There is a saying among Filipinos that “Lahat ng humahawak sa palayok ay nauulingan”. It is a simple way of saying that once an individual is in power, corruption is inevitable. In ordinary organizations, the lack of effective and efficient leadership is a manifestation that they have not seen the model of Jesus Christ. Jesus gave up the authority and the power. He defied the temptation of evil. The basic tenet of servant leadership is following the highest ethical and moral rules of leading others. Consequently, this emphasized the reminders in Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” It is unethical if leaders are protecting themselves rather than serving the people. It is incomplete when individuals think that accepting Christ is just enough to have salvation coming from GOD. Accepting Christ in individual life is essential, but doing Christ’s work is equally important.
The act of self-emptying and service is giving up all the luxuries and excesses of human desires for greatness. When Jesus humbled himself, it is also an illustration that human beings must learn that act of humility, express love and solidarity for others, and take care of those who were abandoned and marginalized by the dominant evilness and greediness of society. Jesus is a great teacher and preacher.
Jesus practices what he is teaching and what is preaching. He makes things simpler and easy to understand thru storytelling. Many people followed Jesus. The Christian today must follow the path of Jesus. His methods of teaching are very nurturing. For Jesus, to be a servant is a Godly decision. Followers of Christ must be enablers of Jesus. They need to ensure that the word of GOD empowers the community (cf. Cardinal Luis Tagle: SL in Public Service p. 91).
In conclusion, JESUS is our model of Servant Leadership. We must seek HIM. From the teaching and example of Jesus Christ, we learn that being a servant leader in the most general sense means being: (1) A Christ-like servant leader, is someone who willingly submits HIMSELF to the calling of GOD beyond his interests or the interests of others; (2) A Christ-like servant leader, is someone who uses HIS creativity, talents, resources, and power. entrusted to HIM in serving other people. Especially the least, the last, and the lost; (3) A Christ-like servant leader, is someone who motivates and nurtures. Thru immersion in the actual work, his/her followers are inspired in doing their tasks faithfully; and (4) A Christ-like servant leader is a DOER for it is better to act than simply talking about it. He WALKS and TALK.
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