“He must increase, but I must decrease.” –John, speaking of Jesus, John 3:30
Humility is a hallmark of a Christian who is truly modeling Christ in their life and leadership. We are called to humility as Christian leaders. Jesus modeled this humility when He said this of Himself, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28). As Jesus gave his life to serve others, to minister, and lay his life down, the Christian leader is called to serve in this way in humility as well.
Paul talked about Christ’s humility in Philippians 2:4-8 when he said that “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
As leaders we are tempted to lead in our own power and strength and to make our leadership’s central focus ourselves. We cannot lead in our own strength, nor do we have the power on our own to lead in humility. We must seek Christ out and live and lead in the power of His Holy Spirit. We cannot go at it alone. Even in our trying to lead in our own strength, our pride is illustrated.
Scripture is clear, our pride and strength will get us nowhere in our leadership. Proverbs 16 says this about pride and humility, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord” (Proverbs 16:18-20).
Our job as Christian leaders is like what John said about himself in relation to Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” This humility exalts God in Christian Leadership and not self, and humility like this is central to Christian leadership.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Mt 20:28
The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Php 2:4-8
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001, S. Pr 16:18-20