Leading with Humility: 3 Leadership Lessons From the Nativity

12.22.22

Christ’s birth is one of the greatest mysteries of the Christian faith. Despite coming as an infant, Christ never lost his dignity or his authority. He remained fully God while being fully man. Yet, he still chose to humble himself and become human, being born in stable. 

Christ’s coming to earth as an infant is a beautiful, powerful example to us as leaders of how we can practice humility and serve others. 

Here are three ways we can follow Christ’s example of humility at the nativity.

1. Surrender control and trust others. In coming as a child, Christ had to fully rely on the support and care of his human parents. Even though he had complete authority, deity and sovereignty, he chose to lay aside his power and trust them to feed, shelter and protect him.

As leaders, it can be challenging to give up control. We can sometimes struggle to step back and let others manage the tasks and responsibilities assigned to them. We may hesitate to fully trust others to be there for us and take too much on ourselves. From Christ’s example, we see how important it is to trust those around us. Practice showing humility by delegating tasks and responsibilities – then trust your team to get them done and be there for you when you need them to.

2. Don’t cling to titles. We read in Philippians 2:6 that when Christ came to earth, he “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped.” He didn’t hang on to his kingly title, though he rightly deserved it. Instead, Christ surrendered to God’s will completely and “emptied himself” (verse seven), coming as a human child, born in a stable and laid in a feeding trough.

We have a unique position of authority as leaders. We have the power to lead others and make positive change. It’s important that we don’t become too focused on our titles, allow them to become our identity or influence how we interact with others. Instead, we ought to practice surrendering our authority and desires to God’s will, allowing him to love and serve others through us.

3. Prioritize serving others. Christ’s humble birth was declared to shepherds as “a sign,” that they would “find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). He was heralded as being their “Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Every aspect of Christ’s life, from his birth to his death on a cross, was to serve others. His coming in humility and laying aside his dignity to be born in a stable served as a sign to the least of these, that he would be the one to “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

It’s important that we continually examine the “why” behind our leadership. The purpose and heart behind our actions is revealed in how we treat our team and lead others. It’s important that we cultivate a heart of humility and service, and make our main priority to genuinely love, care for and serve others, as Christ did.

As we begin to follow Christ’s example of humility, it’s important to remember that we can’t do it in our own strength. Take time to pray and ask God how you can show his love to your team. Make it a priority to regularly check in with your team members to see how you can best honor and serve them. By practicing humility and following Christ’s example, we can begin to see others as he does and honor him in our leadership.

 

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