Embracing Humility: Leadership in the Lowly


As Palm Sunday approaches, the theme of humility resonates profoundly. Christ's entry into Jerusalem is particularly noteworthy, mounted not on a majestic steed but on a humble donkey—a choice rich in significance and prophecy. This time last year I was in Jerusalem, walking the very steps of Jesus' procession!


The anticipation of the Messiah riding a donkey is rooted in the Old Testament, specifically in the book of Zachariah, chapter 9, verse 9:

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout, O daughter Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey."

How many of us, as leaders, envision ourselves entering our roles with such humility? Yet, as Christ exemplifies, this is the only authentic way for a leader to make their mark on any stage. Allow me to share a poignant anecdote from my father, Charlie "Tremendous" Jones, which illustrates the essence of humility. This excerpt is from his speech, The Price of Leadership.



"I speak on the subject of leadership because I believe it’s a tremendously important and misunderstood word. I approach it as a student, like the young minister preparing for his first sermon. He was in seminary preparing for that great day when he would stand before the congregation and lower the boom, telling them how to start living.

He polished the sermon. He refined it. It was really getting better, week after week, month after month, and then the great day came. After two or three minutes, he realized he was in deep trouble. He began to feel around on the podium for a button he could push that would open the trap door and let him slip out of sight. But there wasn’t any push button. Within five minutes he realized he was whipped and that things were different in real life than they were in seminary. He said a hasty benediction and went down off the platform beaten, broken, and dejected.

As he departed the podium, one of the old gray-headed warhorses slipped his arm over the young minister’s shoulder and whispered in his ear, 'Son, if you’d have gone up like you came down, you could have come down like you went up.'

Now that’s a good attitude to approach any subject with, isn’t it? Humility, servitude—the realization that there is a great deal you don’t know even as a leader, a teacher, a pastor, or a parent. Well, that’s the attitude I approach the subject of leadership with."

Humility is a potent instrument for leaders, fostering trust, forging genuine connections, and cultivating authenticity among their followers. It reminds us that, as leaders, we are called to serve a purpose greater than ourselves. May we all aspire to present ourselves as righteous and victorious and with the humility that befits true leadership.


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