What do you do with your power and your position? We don’t often think about our power or position, but many times we have more of it than we realize. Sometimes our power comes simply because of our social class, gender, or ethnicity, but other times it comes because of the position we are in within those groups. So if you’re a pastor or a leader you have power, probably more than you even realize, and at any given time you may be the most powerful person in the room. What do you DO with your power and your position?
Things have happened over the last few weeks that remind us that there are inequalities in power and position in the broken world we live in. Whether we like it or not, some of us have power and position and others don’t. It’s easy to begin to list off those who have more power or more position than you who could hypothetically make a bigger difference, but what will YOU do?
Jesus had the supreme position as God and all the power that comes with that and yet He laid it down to serve.
He Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:6-8
He who had everything laid it down to serve those who had nothing!
Instead of His position He humbled Himself to the lowly state of a human, but not just a human, a servant. Born in a stable and not a palace.
Instead of enjoying the privilege and comfort that His position as God provided Him He became poor to serve the poor! He who had everything came to have nothing and to give everything! He even told His followers that foxes and birds had a more consistent resting place in this life than He did.
He who had everything laid it down to serve those who had nothing to give them everything!
It’s important to recognize our Power and Position before we can truly begin to lay it down to serve those around us. What do you have that gives you position or power? Maybe it’s your gender, ethnicity, education, job, ministry, finances, citizenship, connections, etc.
Whatever our power or position is, as leaders we are called to lay down our rights to use those for our own gain and to serve people around us. It’s simply recognizing inequalities and injustices around us and using our power and position to do something about it in our sphere of influence. That may be as simple as giving others a voice or letting others be first instead of simply doing things the way they’ve always been done. It’s easy to think that we would do differently than others if we had more power, but what are we doing with the power we already have? Are we laying down our rights to serve others? On the night before His death, Jesus chose to take the lowliest position of foot washer! That set something in motion that continues to be fully realized to this day. That those who are leaders must be servants of all. Those who have power and position are called to serve those who don’t.
What would it look like for someone with your position and power to serve others every day?
Here are some great books if you want to dig deeper into this topic:
– Servant Leadership by our very own Dr. Dan Hammer bringing a biblical perspective on what it means to be a servant leader.
– Servant Leadership by Robert Greenleaf, a seminal work that introduced the concept of servant leadership to the business world over 35 years ago.
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