I hear a lot today from leaders who talk about building their platform. Whenever someone uses that terminology, I think of how different it is compared to Jesus’ approach to leadership and ministry. Jesus did not come to bring glory to Himself, but to glorify the Father. He glorified God through a life of sacrifice and perfect obedience. His mission of seeking and saving the lost was the Father’s mission. Jesus knew that glorifying the Father meant humbling himself to the point of death.
You see, Jesus’ platform was a cross.
We see Jesus’ focus as he enters Jerusalem at the beginning of Passion Week. Describing events shortly after the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, John writes:
Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces much fruit. The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me. Where I am, there my servant also will be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. “Now my soul is troubled. What should I say — Father, save me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for me, but for you. Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. As for me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate what kind of death he was about to die.John 12:23-33 (CSB)
We need to think less of building a platform from which to share the gospel and more about humble obedience to God’s will for our lives and our ministries.
If it is God’s will for you to be obscure, is that enough for you as a leader? If it’s God’s will for you to serve in a place that will not grant you much exposure or accolades in ministry, are you content with that?
Christ is our example. He left the glory of Heaven to enter the world through a miraculous birth that occurred in a manger in an obscure town called Bethlehem.
Throughout His life and ministry, Jesus led through humble obedience, seeking to bring glory to His Father and not to Himself. That humility and obedience took Him to a hill called Calvary, where Jesus’ used the platform of death to bring the Father glory, completing the mission He’d been assigned—to seek and save the lost.
Remember, if you want to be a Kingdom leader, Jesus’ platform was a cross.
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Tim is the Director of the Global Center for Youth Ministry and Associate Professor for Youth Ministry & Missions at Anderson University. He is lead pastor/planter of Mosaic Church of Anderson. Tim is also the author of Engaging Generation Z (Kregel Academic), No Better Gospel (Seeds Publishing Group), and the author and editor of Navigating Student Ministry (B&H Academic). His comments do not reflect the views of his employers and are his own personal views on various subjects.