Recently our staff read the book Moving from I to We, written by Dr. Paul R. Ford. His insights are most helpful for our personal growth and have implications for our ministry as well. In the book, he identifies our tendencies to be “I-thinking” and “I-acting” more than “We-thinking” and “We-acting.” These mindsets, he explains, “tend to disable organic, life-giving body ministry among people designed by God to fulfill specific functions as they find their fit.”
It’s humbling to confess that we Christians are affected by the cultural norms and values around us one way or another. To live like genuine Christians, we need to be intentionally counter-cultural. As Jesus overcame Satan’s temptations to power, fame, and glory, we likewise are called to overcome the temptations we face, be it ego, pride, position, self-centeredness, self-actualization, or the need to win.
The Bible exhorts us to lift up our eyes to gain a vision of the body of Christ where we do not need to dominate. Instead, we serve and build each other up in love. In this new community, we are called to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” So the true leader in God’s eye is a humble leader, seeing himself as part of the body, knowing Jesus alone is the head.
Humility must be an essential mark of biblical leadership. And that’s how the Bible describes a leader as great as Moses, for “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3). Many people admire Moses for how he was used by God to perform miracles, but how many admire him for his humility?
On your list of leaders today, Christian or otherwise, who do you think may even come close to being such a great humble leader? Obviously, our world today, including our churches, has fallen short of God’s glory.
Humility may take different cultural norms, such as bowing our heads in Asian countries. True humility, though, has more to do with the disposition of our hearts than with the movement of our heads. As C.S. Lewis put it well, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
This beautiful passage from Ephesians 4:15–16 sums it up perfectly: Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
May God bless us as we seek to be more like Jesus in working with team members and volunteers!
-- Daniel Su, COM President