Greatness as a Way of Life


Photo taken by the author; Baker Park pathway

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”

– Roger Staubach

When I was in Africa two summer’s ago for a mission’s trip, my team had the unique opportunity of meeting the former Ethiopian President, Girma Wolde-Giorgis.

When asked what is the one piece of leadership advice he would pass on to aspiring leaders, he replied by saying: “Be a servant of the people.”

This statement was a reflection of his approach towards leadership and as a leader.

And the results spoke for themselves after a lifetime of leading in this way.

With diplomacy being among his top abilities, President Girma is well-known and well-loved by all who know him – because he served his people.

This is what servant leadership is all about – learning how to serve other people, on a consistent basis, even when you don’t feel like it; perhaps, even more so when you don’t feel like it.

It’s about putting other’s needs ahead of your own and sacrificing what you want for the good of another person.

This is the big idea.

Granted, it is much easier said than done.

The challenge from Gary (whom I mentioned two posts prior) is very fitting and timely for young, single men: Learn to take responsibility, first for yourself, and then for other people.

Start with one person (you) and then go from there.

Jesus is, without question, the greatest servant in the history of the world.

He is the perfect model of what true servant leadership really is.

The King of kings has this to say about being first in this life:

“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (1)

Some of us need to learn how to be last in certain areas of our life.

It could be at work, church, sports, family, entertainment, or whatever area you feel is being tugged in your heart right now.

The idea is not to be last for last’s sake, for no one wants that.

Rather, it’s to serve others ahead of ourselves and having that ever-present “selfishness-gut-check” in place, so we’re not always looking out for the selfish trinity of me, myself, and I.

In other words, it’s about other’s and not just you – an entire world, in general, and the people within our world, in particular.


(1) Matthew 20:26-28 ESV


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