Reflections on Leadership (2): Humility: Killing Off Personal Agendas

This series on “Reflections on Leadership” was something I prepared for a youth camp in which I am now adapting into blog posts. It has a preachy tone to it. I’ve divided it into a series of three (see below). Today though we will focus on the second one.

1) Following Jesus

2) Humility: Killing Off Personal Agendas

3) Serving in Love.

Text taken from the Message Bible (Philippians 2)

Philippians 1-4 If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

9-11 Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

The journey into leadership requires us to put off any agenda of our own. There can be no agenda except of what Jesus desires and wants. This is humility. It is putting off us being prominent and letting Jesus have prominence.

John the Baptist didn’t mind that his ministry was dwindling/ losing his disciples because of Jesus’ ministry. He understood humility, Putting off his agenda. He said “He must become greater, I must become less.” (John 3:30)

Galatians 4:17-20 The other people had a different agenda, so that the Galatians would have zeal for them and not for the sake of Jesus. The wanted their own leadership to be acknowledged. Not so with Paul- he was not putting his own agenda on the scene. He put off his own agenda and let Jesus’ agenda prevail. That was to make Christ be formed in them, that they become mature.

Acts 10:9-48 Peter is show a revelation from God on what he wants him to do. Peter says in v14 ‘surely not lord! Peter replied ‘I have never eaten anything impure and unclean. But God tells him not to call anything impure and unclean that God himself had made clean. So Peter on account of what God told him put off his agenda and followed God’s agenda and he became a vessel that God used to reach the gentiles. This was God’s agenda.

Jesus, on the night that he was to be betrayed and close to him being crucified prayed ‘if it is possible take this cup away from me but not my will buy your will. Jesus was simply putting it, I will lay down my agenda and let your agenda prevail God!

So the picture of true humility is to surrender our own agenda because if we are to follow Jesus our agenda has to be crucified. So the passage way to leadership is to put of my agenda and take on Jesus’ agenda.

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