Passion Week challenges much that the world holds dear
about leadership. It provides a spiritual chiropractic
the clock counted down towards the Cross, Jesus gathered
His disciples around Himself. Good leaders would do
that, too. But His actions then surprise us.
the Upper Room, gathered around a meal table, Jesus
failed to assign a successor to lead the movement in His
absence. He neglected to build a strong organizational
flowchart indicating who would report to whom when He
was gone. He apparently forgot to jot down on paper His
most important insights on leadership and ministry, but
trusted His disciples to simply remember His words. He
did not weigh into the politics of the culture, nor did
He assail the Roman occupation or the Greek immoral
influences. He did not lay out a detailed strategic plan
for Kingdom growth after His departure.
every measure, the Kingdom of God should have folded
that Good Friday. Of course, it looked very much that
way to the disciples, too. With Jesus' death, the
enterprise apparently ended. No structures + no plans +
no leader + no money + no facilities = no
the Passion Week drives us to look at leadership in the
the world, great leaders cast enthusiastic vision. They
speak in grandiose terms. They use "power language".
They inspire their teams with success stories. They lead
the charge to take hill after hill.
But Jesus delivers an antithesis to this rah-rah. As
John records the Last Supper (John 13-16), we get a
starkly different picture.
does not deliver a motivational seminar, but He gently
takes a towel and basin and washes the disciples' feet.
The "power language" is entirely absent,
replaced by language of love, trust, and intimacy
with the Father. There are no "hills to take" just a
single hill to climb ... and die on.
prices tumbled dramatically in the Kingdom that
week. Judas cashed in his shares, Peter abandoned
his, and the other disciples were left feeling like
dot-com executives in 2003. The party was over. The
Kingdom "bankruptcy" was all but complete. Gloom settled
in the corporate boardroom of Apostles, Inc.
did they realize, at first, that Christ had to lead them
to death before He could lead them to life. Not just His
own death, but theirs. While He endured the humiliating
and brutal crucifixion, each disciple endured their own
death - death to selfish ambition, death to petty
competition, death to pursuit of status, and death
to worldly success.
world's greatest leader took His followers to the grave
of shattered hopes and crushed dreams, so that they
would never lead the same way again.
Passion Week provokes some obvious questions. Have we,
who are leaders in the Kingdom, sat long enough around
the Last Supper and seriously enough before the Cross to
"never lead the same way again"? And what are the chief
resources we depend on for our leadership?
world is desperately in need of passionate leadership -
not just the emotional hype and positive thinking of
pop-psychology, but the godly leadership that emerges
from the Passion Week.