Over the years I have allowed some men and women in the Bible to be my mentor. They have inspired and challenged my life in terms of my character, calling and leadership. In recent years Mordecai has captured my heart and I believe he is the unsung hero of the book of Esther. I particularly appreciate how the book concludes with an epilogue headed;
“The Greatness of Mordecai”.
I remember when this title first grabbed my attention and provoked me to consider why Mordecai was described as great. There’s a book in the business world, “From Good to Great”, which James Collins wrote to help good companies transition to being great companies. I like to think we can all learn from Mordecai and how to transition from being good leaders to great leaders. Here are three things that I aspire to be and to learn from Mordecai:
- The Virtue of Greatness
Greatness starts as a private virtue before it is expressed in the public arena.
Greatness is about outstanding influence and importance however it always begins with greatness of character. YOU DO GREAT things because YOU ARE great.
Greatness of deed always begins with greatness of heart.
Mordecai was influential and important because he had greatness on the inside. He was a principled man who had strength of calling, character and convictions. Mordecai’s principles led him to make uncompromising decisions which paved the way for both his promotions and his adversities. In all that he did, Mordecai embodied the scripture: But the noble man devises noble plans; And by noble plans he stands. Isaiah 32:8
- Greatness is found in Serving Another
The book of Esther describes Mordecai as the Jew who was second in rank to King Xerxes (10:2). The fact that a Jew was placed in such a prominent position in the courts of a Persian king when the Israelite people were in exile was a divine act of God. At the moment when King Xerxes took his signet ring off and placed it on Mordecai’s finger (8:2), Mordecai was given the responsibility to rule and to lead.
Whether we serve in ministry or in the marketplace we are often called to support another leader, and this by no means minimises our ability to be great.
In the role that my husband and I have as Executive Pastors we posture ourselves to wisely and respectfully steward the responsibility that Ps Phil and Chris have given us. Our desire is to successfully lead as we serve the vision of another.
- Greatness is Working for the Good of the People
Mordecai was great; “because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews” (10:3). I am so moved by this statement. Mordecai was great because he was kind! I always want to be a kind leader. Someone who looks out for the welfare of others – for our team, our location pastors, our staff and of course the people in our church.
First and foremost, leaders need to work for the good of the people.
Often leaders can be vision, goal or project focused and people can be the resource to make this happen. My sense is that Mordecai was not like that. He spoke up and fought for the welfare of his people. As a leader I want to be like Mordecai, so I try my best to always encourage, to show care and to be kind.
The mark of greatness is found in loving others.