In Philippians 3:3-10, the Apostle Paul highlighted the need for followers of Jesus to ‘boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh’. What did he mean by this?
Using himself as an example, Paul argued that worldly achievement, status and titles bears no weighting in the context of one’s devout following of Jesus. Though he had achieved much in his life, Paul brashly suggested that these achievements and his status were “rubbish” (v8) in comparison to the one thing that truly mattered; knowing Jesus Christ as His saviour and Lord.
Paul’s sentiment here serves as a good reminder for us in our lives, personally. But it also highlights two ways of leading: pointing others to ourselves (“look at my achievements, status, coolness”, etc) – i.e. being Self-Focused – or as those who seek to continually point others to Jesus above ourselves Jesus- Focused!
I don’t know about you, but I want to be that second type of leader!
How do we know whether we’re living in a self- focused or Jesus-focused manner? Here are three questions which might help you discern:
1. Where are you pointing?
“There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light...” – John 1:6-8 (NIV)
At one point in time John the Baptist was a very popular man! He has a massive ministry in his own right. Yet, what was his role? To point people to Jesus. He served God using his gifts, talents and abilities – but he never pointed back to himself. He knew he wasn’t the answer to everyone’s problems, but that he was there to point people to the answer!
As Christian leaders, we must seek to do the same. Let’s not try and be everybody’s savior, but instead use whatever gifts, talents, abilities and platforms we have been given to point people to Jesus.
2. What is your passion?
Paul’s passion was to KNOW Christ more and more! Do we share this passion? What does this look like?
Being passionate about Jesus doesn’t mean you need to be extroverted and speak fluent ‘christianese’. Rather, modelling a passion pursuit of Jesus can be done simply in what we choose to prioritise personally.
Consistent Bible reading and prayer life is a good place to start!
3. What is the price?
Paul said “I regard EVERYTHING loss next to the infinite value of knowing Christ”.
Sometimes as followers of Jesus we’re going to need to sacrifice or ‘lose’ things for the overall sake of the Gospel and pointing to Jesus. John the Baptist is, again, a great example of this:
“When (John) saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus…” – John 1:36-37 (NIV)
John pointed people to Jesus – did what God wanted him to do – and wound up less famous as a result. In fact, he kinda ended up losing his ministry because of Jesus!
A bold prayer for us, as Christian leaders, to pray is: “God, I want you to use my leadership to make Jesus more and more famous – regardless of the impact that might have to my own ministry”.