Giving the Gift of Servant Leadership, Three of Four

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Vignette Two of Four



… and also time for vignette three of four. In keeping with the season, I would like to highlight the following account from the Gospel of John:

“Jesus… rose from the supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” John 13;4-6

Just a little context for this verse is helpful. In this passage, Jesus is nearing the time when he will be taken into custody, sentenced, and executed. He had spent about three years traveling and ministering to and alongside his disciples- teaching and preparing them.

In the scene above, Jesus and his disciples were gathered for the Feast of the Passover. It would have been customary that when a visitor had guests, they would have arranged for their feet to be washed upon arrival. But because the room was borrowed, there was no one to arrange a washing. Also worth noting, washing of feet was a task for people of very low social and economic standing- usually the role of a servant.

I can imagine the disciples milling about not even considering that any one of them could have, in fact, assumed the servant role. After all, there was a job that needed to be done and no one there to do it. Yet, there was. The only person to act with the humility required to descend to the floor and assume the servant role was Jesus, the one whom they had all committed to following. And in doing so, he invited his disciples to consider that the role of a leader is really a position designed to serve others rather than a position designed to serve as an instrument of self elevation.

Without going further into the story (and I do believe there is a lot of theological depth to plumb here), what can we glean from this account? We learn that leadership isn’t about subjecting others to the demands of one’s own needs or supporting one’s own elevated status, but instead quality leadership is about opening avenues of provision for those individuals whom you are leading.

May the God of Peace be with you all.




Each remaining week of 2018, we will be presenting a short vignette which illuminates the importance and impact of servant leadership. We hope these reflections are gifts that display the potential of great leadership.

We would also like to invite you to give the gift of servant leadership throughout the end of this year. A great way to do this is by partnering with us here at AML. It will help us meet our year end financial goals- goals which allow us to most effectively strive towards our mission.