The Faithful Pacesetters

Learning leadership from those who led in the Bible

I Am The Greatest

Bible Character: Jesus & the disciples

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Luke 9:46 NIV

As a leader, Jesus must have been disappointed to see his followers arguing about who is the greatest. The disciples argued about this on more than one occasion…so this must have been an ongoing issue for the group.

How does a leader avoid having their team fall into this type of rationale?


There is a fine line between wanting to be the best and a desire to be the greatest. People with “drive” can push the organization to the forefront amongst the competition, so we want them on our team.  Nevertheless, individuals with this inner drive to be the best may sometimes come with a large ego too.

I have seen sports teams that had much more talent than their opponent…only to self-destruct and lose because the players let their egos get in the way. Everybody on the team wanted to do the scoring, so they could be viewed as the “greatest”.  That type of selfishness must be avoided for an organization to be successful.

It Starts With You

Even Jesus, the most celebrated servant leader ever, had followers arguing about who is the greatest. Verse 48 of Luke 9 has Jesus’ response to his disciples;

For he who is least among you all – he is the greatest.

So here we find the simple truth. We must humble ourselves and put others first to be great?  How does that fit with a culture that thrives on self-promotion and “selfies”?

It starts with following Jesus’ example.   Be servants for the individuals and the organization we lead, but also promote a culture that strives to be the best, with very little emphasis on who is the greatest.


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2 thoughts on “I Am The Greatest

  1. I love reading your posts and I often share them with a friend of mine who does not work here. It always sparks a conversation. This one in particular strikes my heart. I have seen that happen here and I know not all work places are like that. I love the last line! Thanks for what you do and know that it does touch, challenge and inspire people even if you don’t always see comments.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Kathy!

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