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The Parable of Brother Leo

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."1

Michael Josephson tells about "an old legend ... of a monastery in France well-known throughout Europe because of the extraordinary leadership of a man known only as Brother Leo. Several monks began a pilgrimage to visit Brother Leo to learn from him. Almost immediately the monks began to bicker as to who should do various chores.

"On the third day they met another monk who was also going to the monastery and he joined their party. This monk never complained or shirked a duty, and whenever the others would fight over a chore, he would gracefully volunteer and simply do it himself. By the last day the other monks were following his example, and they worked together smoothly.

"When they reached the monastery and asked to see Brother Leo, the man who greeted them laughed. 'But our brother is among you!' And he pointed to the fellow who had joined them late in the trip."2

Not all, by any means, but unfortunately many today who want to be leaders—be it in the church, the community, politics, or in the business world—want it for the wrong reason. They want the position for attention, prestige, prominence, control, money, or to manipulate for power to push their particular brand of product, belief, or philosophy (be it good or bad), or for other varied false motives.

There is an urgent need today for leaders—the kind modeled by Brother Leo—and more importantly, the kind modeled by Jesus who came to serve and to give of himself.3 His motive was loving concern for others. It's called "servant leadership." This type of leader leads by example and not by command or demand.

And as Josephson said, "Can you imagine how much better things would be if more politicians, educators and business executives saw themselves as servant leaders?" To which I would add preachers, teachers and, most important of all, to be modeled in the home by we men who call ourselves fathers.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be a servant leader in whatever capacity I find myself, and with Your help, always strive to be like Jesus in everything I am and do. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Romans 12:10 (NIV).
2. Michael Josephson, Character Counts (313.3).
3. See Philippians 2:6-8.


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.