The disciples knew crazy things were coming because of what Jesus had been talking about. So James & John decided it was time to stake their position of authority. So they asked for Jesus to make them #2 in charge behind him when he became King of Israel.
Problem #1: Jesus never said he would sit on a literal throne.
Problem #2: Power-grabbing isn’t true leadership.
So Jesus taught them a fundamental truth about leadership: Great leaders serve others.
“…but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. for even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45).
Great leaders serve others. Great leaders put others first. It sounds ironic, but it’s true.
Let’s talk about our youth group for a minute.
We have plenty of leaders. Youth groups always have leaders. The question is, are our leaders great because they serve others?
First, there’s a few things we need to understand about leadership.
- Not everyone is a leader. Some people are followers.
- Not all leaders are loud. Loud people are generally the ones that others recognize as leaders, but they aren’t the only leaders.
- Not all leaders lead people in the right direction. Bad leaders can pull others down with them.
I want to give you three things that good leaders do.
First, good leaders set the example. That’s the precedent that Jesus set. He came to serve, not to be served. And he told us to do the same. So a good leader serves others. You can’t ask someone to do something that you either don’t or won’t do. So if you want to be a good leader, set the example. Participate in class & worship, and attend youth group events.
Second, good leaders encourage others. There’s enough negative voices in the world. We don’t need any in the youth group. We need leaders who will encourage others. When someone makes a good point in class, encourage them. Introduce yourself to people who come for the first time. Let them know you’re glad they came. If you know of someone who is going through a hard time, tell them you’re praying for them. High schoolers, encourage our middle schoolers to be involved. Offer them a ride. Let your words speak life into the lives of others.
Third, good leaders embrace others for who they are. Good leaders recognize that God uniquely created us. We aren’t all the same. We have different interests, personalities, and quirks. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Good leaders embrace our differences, yet recognize the love of God that binds us all together. Our youth group should be filled with people who wouldn’t normally spend time together, except for the fact that we love God and we love others. It’s the bond of Christ that ties us together. Good leaders recognize that and embrace the unique qualities that each of us have.
Great leaders serve.
Are you leading the youth group in a way that glorifies God and lifts others up?
Are you leading someone to love Jesus more? When people watch your life, does it make them want to know Jesus? Can others see Christ in you?