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Servant Leaders

“[He] made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.” – Philippians 2:7-9

How do you react when someone challenges your leadership and authority? In Numbers 17, the Lord did something out of the ordinary to address the grumbling attitudes of certain heads of the tribes of Israel, who began to ask why the priests had to come only from the tribe of Levi.

He told them to collect the stave they ordinarily used as emblems of their authority–old dry staves with no sap in them, carved with the name of the leader to identify which rod belonged to which man–and lay them in the tabernacle overnight. The rod that budded and blossomed would signify who was to be the priest. Aaron’s rod–an ordinary dry stick–budded and blossomed and produced almonds. Aaron was chosen, and no other.

There is a lesson here to the Christian leader whose leadership may be under a challenge. Don’t fight back. Let God vindicate His choice. Commit the matter to God and let Him settle the matter in His own way.

Once again, Aaron was reminded of his essential duty. God said, “Aaron, you and your sons with you shall serve.” Not rule, not exercise dominion, but serve God and the people of God. Leaders must remember that they are servants and that they are to be humble, diligent, and faithful in all they do.

When someone challenges your authority, the Bible says the proper response is to serve and allow the Lord to establish your authority to lead.


Lord, mold me into the kind of leader You want me to be. Amen.

To Ponder

When you get frustrated with leading, read John 13, which describes how Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and then told them to do the same for one another.

(The Navigators)