Weekly Devotion

Leading in Difficult Times

“…But whoever wants to be great among you, let him care for you.  Whoever wants to be first among you, let him be your servant.  For the Son of Man came not to be cared for. He came to care for others.”  ~Matthew 20:26-28 (NLV)

Leaders in many situations command recognition and special treatment. Think for a minute if the President of the United States (past or present) were to come visit your office, I am sure you would make sure your office was spic and span, that you had on your best outfit and had rehearsed exactly what you were going to say. It is often like that with those who are leaders—they get the best treatment, usually VIP treatment as people stand in awe of them. Often, whether they expect it or not, great leaders are given special treatment and special exceptions. As a result, they often do come to expect it.

And, unfortunately, as we are discovering in the midst of the “Great American Quarantine,” (my terms—nothing official), leaders must step up, putting aside their personal needs and desires to ensure the needs of others are being met. Leaders are being called on to encourage those they serve when they are unsure themselves. They are being called on to make decisions, often without all the information needed to make an informed decision. Without a doubt, times are tough.

Needless to say, in today’s world, nonprofit and ministry leaders are not in enviable positions.

The verse referenced above comes from one of the last encounters Jesus had with his disciples before his arrest and subsequent crucifixion. What an oxymoron…instead of being served, the leader is the one serving. Then, using himself as an example, he said that he did not come to be served but instead to serve and care for others.

Today, we are certainly discovering that as leaders we must serve and care. There are some definitive steps that must be taken to do this with a good attitude and in a way that represents Christ well.

First, make sure you are staying connected to God each and every day through reading of his Word and prayer. Stay focused on his values instead of the world’s, you will be able to serve and encourage with a pure heart.

Next, practice serving. How can you change your leadership so that you are directly serving in these days? What does it mean to serve? Perhaps, it means a simple phone call to your elderly neighbor who has now been shut in with no visitors for weeks. Maybe it means packing lunches that can be delivered to the homeless in your community (drive-by of course).

Finally, you might want to find someone to talk to. Leaders are in a rough spot—they have fears and concerns but there is often no one that they can talk to…someone to share their feelings with. And so, their feelings are in their minds, being bounced around in ways that are not healthy. Find someone who understands the world of nonprofits and will not judge you for your feelings —they are real and they are valid.

Sweet Blessings to You, My Friend.