The other day I was walking the Journey with Jesus trail at Saddleback Church’s Retreat Center.
I snapped this photo of Jesus hanging on the cross. I noticed that a shadow had fallen across Jesus’ face leaving only his body clearly visible.
It got me thinking…
As leaders who pursue Jesus, we both seek and desire the crucified life—crucified leadership.
We should seek to crucify our leadership pride.
We should seek to crucify our need for leadership power.
We should seek to crucify our desire for leadership prestige.
We should desire to suffer and sacrifice for those we lead.
We should desire to be a shepherd, steward, and become a slave for Jesus and those we lead.
We should crucify our need and desire for the spotlight of recognition. We should prefer the humility of the shade.
This is crucified leadership.
You are at your pastoral best when you are not noticed. ~ Eugene Peterson
But if we are being honest, we console ourselves with one thought. “At least people would know it is me who is crucified.”
We tell ourselves that people would recognize that it is we who hang on the cross of crucified leadership.
Jesus did not hang anonymous on the cross.
The religious leaders of Jerusalem knew him. The Roman soldiers knew him. The crowd that mocked him knew him. The thieves hanging beside him knew of him. His followers knew him. A sign above his head made him known to all that would pass by.
I think when we think about crucified leadership, we tell our selves that, “When I am crucified, at least, people will recognize that it is I that hangs on that cross.”
But, what if, like the picture above, a shadow falls across our face?
What if we are not recognized by anyone? What if we crucify our leadership and hang in anonymity?
Could you go to your cross knowing that no one would know. That people would simple pass by you as if you were unknown?
That is the last test of crucified leadership. To hang without acknowledgement, without recognition, without notice from anyone except God alone.