Roger as a leader faced the question, if Jesus as God Incarnate pitched his tent among people, (among those whom He called His friends), then what should he as a leader do? He was convinced that the place from which Christ would have him lead is not above his people, nor in front of his people, nor under his people, and not by cell phone with his people. The most powerful position of leadership is beside those whom God has called us to lead—among them.

If Jesus emptied himself to take on the form of a bond servant (Philippians 2:5–8), Roger asked himself, shouldn’t he also empty himself of the pretences and privileges that create distance between him and his people?

Roger knew to “dwell among” people does not mean forfeiting his responsibilities. Rather, it exposed him to perspectives that enabled him to fulfil his duties more effectively. He realised being among people he was better informed that in turn enabled him to make better decisions. Close interaction builds trust and people would be able to accept the less popular moves. He also knew people hold more confidence in a leader’s ability to anticipate the implications of an action if the leader is close to the people affected. As a rule, honesty and trust increase with close involvement. Roger knew the Bible does not teach to erase all functional boundaries. But that he relentlessly needed to ask what exaggerates the separation from those we lead, and then attack those barriers. High and mighty style of leadership is defended more enthusiastically by people who sit on high pedestals than it is by those we lead.

The nature of God revealed in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, is the ultimate expression of empathy. To express compassion, a leader has to be with people. Roger knew if he hoped to be a Christ like leader, it would mean bridging the gap between the leader and the led.

 

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