Leading your team with the Theology of the Buckets

Which bucket will you use?

I had never heard of The Theology of the Buckets before this past Sunday in church.  Maybe you haven’t either.  Regardless of your religious leanings, I think you will agree that this “theology” lesson will help you improve your serve and strengthen your ability to lead your team.

serve your teams better, theology of the buckets

In the bible, there two powerful and famous scenes that you have probably heard of many times before. Most likely, you’ve just never heard of them in terms of serving your team.

Here’s how they go:

Story 1:  Jesus has been handed over to Pilate by the angry and jealous crowd.  Pilate was in charge.  He had the ability to make decisions and his word has authority.  He had the power to lead.  Pilate goes to the crowd and asks for their opinion but the decision is ultimately his.  Before him is a bucket of water. However, this was no ordinary bucket.  You see, Pilate can lead and do what’s right or he can cave in and do what’s convenient.  I think you know which way this story goes.

Rather than leading and getting his hands dirty, Pilate does what so many of us still do today.  He went to his bucket, dipped his hands into the water, shook them off, washed his hands and said, “He’s not my responsibility.  You take care of this.”

Story 2:  Jesus is with his disciples.  They have heard Him talk many times about leaving and being handed over to the authorities.  They know it won’t be long now before He is crucified and killed.  So they do what many of us would probably do too…they jockey for position and talk about who will be #1 when He is gone.  But Jesus, being who He is, knew what they were thinking and saying among themselves.  He needed a powerful way to show them what they were to do when He was gone.  Like Pilate, Jesus also had a bucket and some water.  But unlike Pilate, Jesus did what was unthinkable, absolutely inconvenient, but was right.  He grabs His bucket, kneels down before them, and says, “He who wants to be the greatest among you will become the slave of everyone else.”  Then he lead them by example as their humble servant.

Same bucket.

Same opportunity to lead.

A different and better way forward.

The Theology of the Buckets has some important things we all would do well to understand when it comes to leading those entrusted to our care.

  1. If you have people following you in your business, you are a leader.  Whether you feel like one or not, this means that you have a bucket to carry.  You have opportunities to grab either bucket every single day.  The choice is yours.  You can wash your hands and say, “I can’t do it all for them!  I’m not responsible for them!”  or you can say, “How can I serve today?”  Then get on your knees and start washing.
  2. There is a powerful lesson here that we would do well to remember:  In businesses like ours, we get paid in proportion to how we serve!  Serve a few – get paid in proportion for the few.  Serve many – get paid in proportion for the many.  How much would you like to get paid?  My guess is you’d say “more than a few!”  Great!  Then ask yourself this: “How well am I serving those entrusted to me?”  How many feet are you washing everyday?  Your paycheck depends on your answer!
  3. At the end of the day, we are going to sit back and wonder if our lives and business mattered.  Did we do something significant and important for the world at large?  The way of the Master was to get ahead by getting down and dirty.  It was a different way than most but it was (and still is) a better way.  Washing feet is inconvenient, humbling, and messy.  Yet, it produced something in Jesus’ disciples and will produce the same in our teams that we all want and need to win:  loyalty.  The disciples loved Jesus because He lead with service.  I think we would do well to do the same.

 

Join the conversation!

Which bucket are you most likely to grab when it comes to your business?  What are some simple ways you can learn to lead like this?  What examples have you seen from leaders in your business who have been like Pilate and/or Jesus?  How did that inspire you or make you feel?

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