To Lead Is To Serve
“…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many."
After finishing up my college baseball career, I’m now in my first year in the business world. That means that this upcoming spring will be the first time I won’t be suiting up to hit the diamond (sad day).
Looking back on my four years of college ball, one of the biggest lessons I learned was about leadership. I always thought that leaders had to be guys who were loud, well-liked, in control and who could make people do certain things. While leaders do need to be able to take control, through baseball, I learned that the best way to lead is not to be forceful, but to serve and go out of your way to do things completely unexpected of you.
On the ball field, I always thought that your status as an upperclassman made you a leader. Younger guys do look up to veterans, but I also learned that there is another way to earn the respect of those younger guys and to get them to follow your leadership: serving them.
Where I played ball, we had certain tasks that were supposed to be done after every practice, such as cleaning up the field and picking up cage balls. Seniors weren’t expected to do these tasks themselves, but it was their job to make sure they got done. What I realized was that in order to serve these guys on the team, I needed to do things that were unexpected of me and be willing to help anywhere I could.
As a senior I was no better than the freshmen. I didn’t want to be “too good” to pick up balls, clean up the field, or pick up trash in the dugout. I wanted to be able to look at my teammates and ask them to follow me as I followed Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). I never wanted guys to follow my lead because I was older or because they thought I was cool. I wanted them to follow me because they saw something different in me that stood out. I wanted the light of Christ to shine through me by doing things that were not expected of me and by serving the guys on the team.
Through baseball, I learned more about God and life then I ever imagined. One lesson was about Christ’s model of serving others. As Christians we can and are called to apply this to our own lives no matter where we are or what we are doing. God gives us the strength to lead, and we must do so by serving, whether it’s on the ball field, in the business world, in the grocery store, or in the classroom. We are all in different occupations, at different schools and in different stages in life, but the one thing we have in common is Christ and the calling to serve Him wherever we are.
1. When you think of a great leader, who comes to your mind?
2. What makes this person a great leader?
3. Can and should we all be leaders? Explain.
4. What are some things that you can do today to serve others and begin leading for Christ?
2 Timothy 1:7
1 Peter 4:10