“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
Wednesday, 12 May 2021
The leadership style of Jesus of Nazareth is based on love.
Let me expand on this.
Jesus’ approach to his disciples is not based on issuing commands and demanding blind rule-following. He tells them everything, ready always to explain things to them when they do not understand. He also sends them out to do what he has taught. In the other gospels we read, too, how when they returned to him having preached, healed and exorcised, he responds with warmth, even with humour. He builds on their enthusiasm, praises them and guides them further in the work he has set them.
In so many jobs, one often gets the sense that you are no more than a hired hand, a replaceable cog in a well-oiled machine that will use you and when you no longer deliver, dump you! That is clearly not what Jesus does.
Jesus takes his disciples and turns them into friends. He cares about them as people and makes them partners in the mission. The result is not just the kind of loyalty one sees among those who are ‘hired hands’, let alone those who do the job out of fear of punishment or dismissal. The work, the mission becomes what the disciples are. It becomes central to their lives, and – even after the Resurrection and Ascension – their enthusiasm for the mission never falters. If anything, it just grows.
How do we see ourselves in our workplaces – cogs in a machine or friends on a mission?
If we are in charge, how do we treat our workers?
Could we all learn a little bit from the leadership style of Jesus, the CEO?