January 11, 2024

By Bishop Bryan Hoke, Atlantic Conference

Scripture meditation: Mark 10:35-45

An argument ensues. It begins with a question but leads to much more. Finally, Jesus redirects wandering visions with clarity for how leadership takes shape in the Kingdom. “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant…”

In Jesus’ day, just like ours, the common understanding of leadership or influence is power, getting to the top positions so one could get her or his way. Jesus flips that thinking upside down and shares that in God’s Kingdom this is how we influence: Servant Leadership.

The first time I met Chuck, he was mopping the floor of a rental unit of a strip mall. I needed an internship and was there to speak with the pastor of a new church plant meeting in that space. There was no one else around, and I quickly learned that Chuck was the pastor. That was 25 years ago, and I have never forgotten that first interaction with the pastor of my first formal church experience. Chuck preached, led, cared for people, modeled generosity, and when needed, mopped the floors of a place the church didn’t even own.

According to Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges in their book The Servant Leader, leadership is “influencing the thoughts and actions of others toward goal accomplishment in either their personal or professional life.” We all lead because we all have influence. Whether at home, church, or the workplace, servanthood is how that influence should be shaped to be a part of where Jesus rules and reigns. For not even Jesus came to be served but to serve.

When we lead and influence, do we reflect the ways of this world or the ways of King Jesus? Will our hearts and attitudes be focused on what we can get or what we can give? Do you desire to lead? Serve. Do you desire to have influence? Sacrifice, give yourself away.


Father, shape our hearts in such a way that who you are naturally flows from them. May how we lead reflect your priorities carried out in your ways. Amen.