Today is the feast day for St. James, the first of the apostles to suffer martyrdom for Christ. We need to recover this kind of self-emptying, sacrificial leadership in the church today. Too often we mimic the self-serving, exploitative, power-hoarding practices of what typically passes for “leadership” in the world today.
Here’s a prayer to pray toward this end (from the Book of Common Prayer):
O gracious God, we remember before you today your servant and apostle James, first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ; and we pray that you will pour out upon the leaders of your Church that spirit of self-denying service by which alone they may have true authority among your people; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.