“And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.” John 13:14 NLT
As a pet owner, I was clearly serving my cats. I ensure they feed well, I ensure they are healthy, I ensure I replace their litter sands and keep the environment clean. They could scratch my leather seat or bags but I just had to understand their nature and condone certain things. I was technically leading them by serving them. The joy of having pets as far as I am concerned is in serving them. I think this taught me a lot about leadership.
Loyalty is a big subject in the Church, we keep hearing it over and over again from the pulpit and yes it needs all the reminding and teachings it should get. However, we’ve always heard a side of it but not the other side. The vocal side is the side that has a microphone, the side that owns the stage on Sunday services, the side that stands tall while others are sitting.
Guess who is speaking up for the silent side? It is our Lord, Jesus Christ. The Apostles followed this path too.
We need to revisit our definition of loyalty. It’s not always something that flows from followers to leaders, it also flows from leaders to followers. A leader is accountable to his followers as much as the followers are accountable to the leader.
Leadership is a privilege, it demands honour from the leader too. Yes, we must honour those who believed in us enough to follow you. Leadership doesn’t make us any better than anyone else. In the language of Jesus, a leader is not a boss but a servant.
As Jesus washed the feet of those who called him Lord, we must wash the feet of those who look up to us. This does not mean relinquishing our leadership duties to our followers, it actually means carrying out our leadership duties the way it should. We often forget what true leadership is the moment we climb the seat of leadership, we often want to abuse the privilege of leadership to become bosses.
Just in case you do not understand the implication of what Jesus did, in the Jewish culture, the feet are the dirtiest part of the body at that time because people trek a very long distance and it’s the least of the servants that take up that role of washing the feet of their master, a chief servant doesn’t wash feet!
By washing our feet and teaching us to do so, Jesus was saying “be the least servant. That’s what leadership is.” I believe that the true test of a leader’s loyalty to his followers is in the leader’s ability to serve those committed to his care.
I call you blessed.