Leaders Need To Know Their Place

Yesterday I taught on the positive side of 3 John. Gaius was a strong leader, and John had heard about it and complimented him.

But just as our good deeds get talked about and passed around, so do our bad. Diotrephes is singled out as the example of poor leadership in the organization. How would you like to be known and talked about 2,000 years after your death as the guy “who likes to put himself first.”

Diotrephes was the type of person who knew everything. He even knew more than the apostle who walked with Jesus himself! Just as I wrote the other day about if you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room, so Diotrephes liked thinking he was the smartest guy in the room.

A leader needs to know the purpose and foundation of the organization. Even in leadership, the leader needs to know when to put herself or himself second to someone else. Jesus taught leaders serve. He also taught that leaders teach the truth.

We know this in business. It’s even more important in churches. Leaders must be humble–that is, putting God and others before themselves. The self-promoters are like the wheat on the poor soil in the parable that shoot up quickly but have no staying power. They wither and die.

In whatever we are leading, we must have the perspective of serving others–whether they are customers and employees, or people on our committees, or family members.

I just listened to Andy Stanley talk about how your decisions determine your life story. Do you want your story talked about for years after your death the way Diotrephes’ is?

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