Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV)

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

As a teen I signed up for a program where the small picture focus was training cabin leaders for camp and the big picture goal was training leaders to be servant leaders. One of the requirements to complete this program was to memorize Philippians 2:1-11. So I did, and I took its meaning to heart. Unfortunately, with time, most of the words faded from my mind. However, the meaning however has stuck with me for 10 years.

  “This verse encourages me to love God more and to love people more. It encompasses the ideal of who I would like to be.”

Leadership is one topic that has intrigued me in the last few years, to the point of interrogating people in leadership roles to glean insights into how to be a leader in business, social environments and especially church. I have even put down fantasy novels in exchange for leadership learning books (i.e. John Maxwell). Everything that I have learned about leadership in the last years has been coloured by and put through the filter of this passage.

This passage speaks to me in a few themes that can be expressed in simple terms. All of the themes fall into place if the first can be achieved:

  1. Striving for Christ-mindedness
  2. Unity among believers
  3. Humility – especially in leadership

This verse encourages me to love God more and to love people more. It encompasses the ideal of who I would like to be.

Philippians 2:1-11 (ESV)

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Posted on behalf of Matt Funk

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