What kind of leader would lead his or her people to a cross?
As I am studying leadership in this DMin program and while this is Holy Week where the Son of God says to all "Come and follow me," I wonder what kind of leader would lead his or her people to a cross?
Is Jesus a Transformational Leader ... one who builds long term relationships between leader and follower that produces significant change, raises both to higher levels of motivation and morality, and encourages followers to assume leadership roles themselves? Sounds like Jesus, because I know He is big into relationships and making us into better people.
Is Jesus a Symbiotic Leader ... at his best when leader and led feel inspired and energized to do great things together, to scale heights of collective accomplishment, and to share roles of responsibility that reflect much more positively on the group as a whole than on any one individual? Well, Jesus does call the Church, the whole body of Christ, to be out there.
Is Jesus a Developmental Leader ... one who targets the silenced and the overlooked members of communities, to help them find their voice and to take a more active role in shaping their individual and collective destinies? It has always seemed that Jesus looks out for the least, the last, and the lost of our communities.
Is Jesus a Servant Leader ... one who is a servant first and who reluctantly accepts a leadership role in order to support and assist those who remain unserved? Jesus said he came to serve and not to be served.
Is Jesus an Organic Leader ... bringing the necessary leadership to help people realize their true situation of oppressing and to prompt them to decide to change this through organized, mass political action; in other words to become groups for themselves. Well, Jesus does call for us to know the truth so it can set us free.
Jesus is a leader who exhibits all these qualities and who still leads us to a cross. He leads us there not to demonstrate His power over us or because He wants company, but because Jesus believes in us and knows who we can be for God's Kingdom. But first we must follow the leader, and we must die to ourselves in order that Jesus who died for us and our sins might live again in and through us.
Holy Week is about following the Leader regardless of the style you attribute to Him. It is about following Him to the cross and dying yet again to all that we have given birth in this past year since last Easter in order that Easter might come this year. Yes, follow Jesus to the cross but also to the empty tomb.
Lead me, Jesus, everywhere you go, especially to a resurrected life in and with you!
A blessed Holy Week and a life-changing Easter!
(The types of leadership are from the book, "Learning As A Way of Leading ... Lesson from the Struggle for Social Justice" by Stephen Preskill and Stephen D. Brookfield)