In HOPE 10.9

back to home

David Timms

Easter Thursday

In the Upper Room that first "Easter Thursday," Jesus took a towel and basin and washed His disciples' feet. With this profound act of humility and service, Jesus set the tone for His followers thereafter.

Today, as we consider the significance of the Cross, let's not overlook the heart of service that it exemplifies. And may it increasingly evoke the same self-sacrifice in us.

Prayer for Today

Father, deliver me from my quest for recognition, power, influence, and greatness. Open my eyes to the subtle ways I promote myself, pursue my own agenda, and seek the approval of others. Grant me a heart that is secure in Your love and enthralled by Your grace. Strengthen me that I may die more to myself and pour out my life in increasing service. I am a slave, by choice, to Your plans and purposes. Amen.    





Servants not Leaders

The "leadership" buzzword of the past 25-30 years has completely distracted us. We've blamed the demise of congregations on poor leadership. We've cried out for stronger leadership. We've attended leadership conferences and devoured leadership books.

In church circles, leadership sells well. People buy it -- and buy into it -- by the bucketload. We nurture it and honor it and cheer each other on to be more visionary, authoritative, democratic, decisive, ends-focused, goal-driven, and success-oriented.

It's the age-old quest for greatness, shrouded loosely in the ecclesiastical garb of respectability.

But we've not only been distracted. We've been duped; deluded by the business models of our culture and the corruption of our own hearts.

Jesus did not call His disciples to be leaders. He called them to be followers and to be servants. He never used the term "ruler" or "leader" to motivate or define any of the apostles. He viewed them as learners (disciples) not leaders.

Some folk may shake their heads and suggest that good leaders are servants, as though they have tidily reconciled the two concepts. The phrase "servant-leader" seems to do that nicely. But would we be willing to drop the term "leader" altogether? Would we rush to attend a conference on "Serving Selflessly"? Would we read a book titled, "Aim Lower: You're Nothing But a Servant"?

In the first century, the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "We do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bondservants for Jesus' sake." (2 Corinthians 4:5) "... and ourselves as your bondservants." What a bold statement. We may fear saying the same thing lest people think less of us or, worse, take advantage of us.

But that's how it works in the Kingdom at its best. Everything is backwards and upside down. Then one day we realize that it's our lives that have been backwards and upside down and in a moment of shining clarity we discover that down is up and low is high; not that it matters any longer to us.

On this Easter Thursday, may we pursue the path of servanthood to honor the One who washes our feet and calls us to do the same.





Want to chat more on a topic? Hit "Reply" and share your thoughts.
I'm always happy to explore these issues further.

You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2010) at .

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.