At Entrust, we realize people often volunteer to lead – even for the right position – for the wrong reasons.
God often uses our character flaws to motivate us. Peter’s motive to lead resulted in his becoming a bold spokesman for and leader of the brand-new church, but he had to be refined by his humbling denial in the face of Christ. The Apostle Paul’s initial motive to persecute Christians eventually positioned him to become the prominent leader for the early church, but it also meant having to go through a humiliating episode of blindness and several years of retraining for his new calling.
Pure motives are rare this side of heaven. I set out to be a pastor for some very good reasons mixed with some that ranged from poor to embarrassing. God takes us as potential leaders to school and soon we are forced to face the fact that we need a complete overhaul and that, in reality, we have nothing God can’t get some other place.
The Apostle Paul recounted a second humbling when he was given an unspecified “thorn in the flesh” that would keep him from getting conceited; in other words, to keep his motives in line.
It may not sound like it, but the greatest reward of leadership is being forced to frequently confront and admit your own shortcomings, constantly growing even as you are the catalyst for others to grow.
Our Savior modeled this humility in His humanity before He was seated at the honored right hand of the Father (Phil. 2:8-11). Jesus told His ambitious disciples, who were pushing for prominence, “many who are first will be last,” but held out a righteous motive when He added, “and the last [shall be] first” (Mark 10:31).
The best, most rewarding, reason to volunteer as a servant-leader is that nothing serves your own best interests like relinquishing your self-interest in serving others.