Upside-down Leadership

by Emily Loa

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a leader? Perhaps an image of someone wearing a suit enthroned in an office, or maybe you think of a caped superhero. What about a man on his knees washing the feet of his peers? For most of us, this is the last of what we imagine when we think of someone who is a leader.

At the EU’s Leadership Summit this year, this picture of Jesus humbly washing his disciples feet formed the central example of what it looks like to be a Christian leader as we heard bible talks from Al Lukabyo, a former EU student and Howie. The theme of the Leadership Summit was ‘Leadership Drive by Love’. Over 200 EU student leaders were challenged to love those they will be leading in their respective EU ministry this year, by humbly serving them, in the same way Jesus served us.

One of these students was Dylan, a second-year Economics and Arts student. Dylan became a Christian last year through investigating the claims of Jesus in small group bible studies and at Annual Conference. Dylan shared some of his reflections on Leadership Summit:

I found it perplexing how the initial talks were fixated so heavily upon the role and motives of a Christian leader. However, my confusion was replaced with a sense of understanding, as I came to realise that Christian leaders are fundamentally different from other leaders in society. Christian leaders serve with a sense of humility and willingness, because Jesus humbly and willingly served us, to the point of dying on the cross for us. I came to realise how easy it is for us to be consumed and motivated by dishonest gain, seeking authority over others through our position as a leader. A story told by Al Lukabyo challenged me greatly. During his time as an EU student leader, someone came up to him and asked, “Do the people you lead, because of your leadership, love Jesus more than they did before?” This was a question so simple, yet so easy to disregard and so easy to forget. As Christian leaders, we need to remember why we serve, because Jesus first served and loved us”.

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