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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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Leading From Your Knees

As I watched the leaders of the world’s richest nations gather at the G7 summit, my first thought wasn’t about the crucial decisions to be made around the climate, COVID, and Russia. My first thought was, ‘this gathering is probably quite healthy for these leaders’.

When you’re ‘top dog’ in your own country, there’s an inevitable inflation to one’s ego and erosion of one’s attitudes towards the ‘underlings’. But that just might shift when you’re suddenly demoted from captaincy to having to be a team player. Is it just possible that some humility could be birthed in these leaders?

A similar dynamic is at play this morning in Westminster. The annual National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast is taking place. The last few years have seen over 100 parliamentarians attend, and they too need reminding where ultimate authority lies. Surely that’s good for anyone’s humility whether they believe in all this God stuff or not. We may find accountability an annoyance, but we all need it to lead at our best.

You may say, ‘I have no such lofty position or ambition’, but to the rest of us the challenge, perhaps, is that we subconsciously shrink our domains so we can live our lives as little dictators, controlling every story and allowing self-preservation to steer our thoughts and action.

As we’ve painfully seen in recent years, when the ego of a leader goes unchecked, decisions are driven by what makes them look good, rather than what is good for everyone. The irony of all this is that Jesus was aware he actually had ultimate power – ‘the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God’. What a thing! If it was me with that power, I would want to fix some things fast. But not this leader – ‘he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist’ (John 13:4). He served.

Could we hear this same Jesus nudging us out of our private domains, affirming our role of leadership in the world, while simultaneously reminding us that we need to kneel as well…?

Those parliamentarians will this morning sing our new hymn ‘We Seek Your Kingdom’. We’re under God’s supreme authority. As we sing along, let’s kneel and recommit to being servant leaders whose leadership doesn’t stay private, but humbly points to our Master in public, wherever we’re called this day.


Andy Flannagan
Andy is Executive Director of Christians in Politics, and recently co-wrote ‘We Seek Your Kingdom’ with Noel Robinson and Graham Hunter, inspiring Christians across the UK to make a difference for Christ, wherever he’s placed them.


  1. Thank you. Everyone needs a dose of humility every so often.

    By Philip Hamilton, Belfast  -  8 Jul 2021

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