Browsing: Servant leadership

Leadership Is… A Body Of Believers #305

Every church or mission is unique with its own culture. This culture is a mosaic of the vision, mission, values, habits, beliefs, traditions and rules held by the individuals involved. These components work together to develop the culture and define the spiritual health of your church. 

A servant led church would be a living, growing, learning organism that radiates Christ’s love. “If you don’t live it, you don’t believe it.” (Larry Spears, Theory of Servant-Leadership.)

Your church is a body of believers. This body of Servant Leaders, demonstrating God’s love through serving has the potential for impacting its surrounding community. Imagine the unprecedented impact a group of dedicated Christ following churches would have on our world. Small decisions influence larger decisions and transformed lives impact others, the wave of influence for Christ is beyond imagination in today’s world.

A Servant led church would have a dynamic, exciting and motivating vision based firmly on God’s Word plus the values and spiritual gifts of its people. The vision would focus each individual to a closer personal relationship with God. The vision would involve leading others to Christ and developing disciples. There would be Home Bible Studies and opportunities to meet for prayer during the week in addition to the weekend services. Each service would be designed to bring people into a closer relationship with their heavenly Father. This church would be committed to win their community for Christ.

George Barna surveyed people who didn’t attend church presently, asking if they decided to attend a church, what would influence their choice. “The most common response was they would seek a church that was committed to helping people outside the church who needed care and consideration”. (www.barna.com) I find this fascinating. People who don’t attend church see community service as a factor that would influence their choice of a church to attend. “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4 NKJV)

Serving in church should be equivalent to a gene or DNA within the human genogram. Imagine a loving, caring serving gene within the growing living organism of your church that grows and reproduces itself. The influence would be beyond imagination.

Leadership is … showing God’s love to your community.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… Really Listening #304

An effective leader is an equally effective communicator. As a speaker I want people to listen and hear. As a listener, I also want to hear and really understand what others are saying. An hour with one of my mentors is useless if I don’t listen, hear and learn. We need to listen more than we talk to be sure that others feel valued.

“A true natural servant automatically responds to any problem by listening first.” (Robert K. Greenleaf, The Servant as Leader)

Listening is more than just being present and quiet. It is focusing all your physical, emotional and psychological energies to the conversation. The individual reading, corresponding or sleeping in the back of a team meeting is only physically there. Their presence is not assisting, it is hindering the learning process. In communication, the art of being fully and completely involved is paramount. Your physical, emotional and physiological presence must be seen and felt.

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning.” (Proverbs 1:5 NIV)

When listening, be aware of the big picture, listen and watch for intent, tone of voice and the body language. The body language involves the eyes, feet, hands, general posture and emotional responses. Watch for consistency, do the emotions back up the words, or do the words tell a different story?

The actual words are important, but tend to communicate far less than the manner in which the words are used. Listen to the words, but listen within the context. Most people remember less than 30% of the words heard. The rest of the content becomes filler. By listening to all the variables you can communicate effectively.

The effective servant leader knows that listening is the best investment in team development.

Leadership is … listening and really hearing.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… A Servant Led Church #302

Paul uses a practical construction analogy, “In him, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord”. (Ephesians 2:21 NIV) You wouldn’t want to live and work within a building that is poorly constructed. The risks are obvious. Yet, many of us work in organizational environments that are ineffective.

The corporate world has been shaken with CEO’s and CFO’s who re-arrange budget and resources for their own benefit. “People value honesty and integrity in a leader more than anything else. Virtually every person they talked with placed integrity at the top of the leadership wish list.”  (James Kouzes and Barry Posner, quoted by Perkins in Awaken the Leader Within) The Servant led church integrates a service philosophy with integrity. Every member is encouraged to live a life of honesty, truthfulness and integrity. This is a church the world will notice.

The Servant led church is a learning and growing organism. It is characterized by a collective unity and interdependence of each individual and team. The teams define their goals, are delegated a budget and resources, and are accountable to each other and the overall Vision. Leadership, decision making, planning and goal setting are shared, not held by the faithful few. The Servant led church knows its own strengths, weaknesses and the gifts of its people. It also knows the power of people working tougher effectively, “Two can accomplish more than twice as much as one.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 TLB)

The Servant led church reduces the emphasis on the power hierarchy while encouraging team work and a service role for each leader. Each leader would interact within a team. The teams would be composed of divergent thinking people, different ages, different occupations, and ideally different cultures. Each would be committed to the Vision, working independently, yet supporting each other. Although the teams may appear leaderless, the leader is the Vision and the team works the mission as a group of equals.

Is your church a Servant led church?

Leadership is … serving individually and collectively. 

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… Demonstrated by Christ #301

Jesus showed his disciples the full extent of his love.

In Christ’s day walking was the mode of transportation. Think about it. Sandals, sand and dirt under the hot sun would be very uncomfortable. A long day of walking, talking and teaching would leave your feet sore, dirty, sweaty and probably smelly. According to the culture of the day, when guests came to visit, especially if a meal was involved, the host was expected to provide a servant or slave to wash your feet. The service was expected and appreciated by the guest. However, from the servant’s perspective, kneeling in silence and washing feet was considered to be the lowliest of the lowly tasks.

Christ the master, the teacher, knowing his crucifixion was eminent took the role of the servant. Christ also knew he would be denied by Peter and betrayed by Judas. Yet, as an act of service, “Having loved His own who were in the world, he loved them to the end”. (John 13:1 NIV) Christ challenged the tradition and culture of the day. Christ, the teacher, God’s beloved Son, took on the role of the servant and washed His disciples’ feet.

We have traditions in our culture as well. You’ve heard the phrase, ‘that’s not the way we do it around here’. In our day, at work or church we have habits and unwritten rules. For some it is the style of music, for others it is the arrangement of the furniture in the sanctuary. Others have a command and control leadership style borrowed from a failing secular model. Some feel a particular style of dress is required to worship in the church while others argue and debate whether a church should provide a service to a neighboring community.

These are traditions and habits. Christ challenged the traditions of the day by showing a caring and humble attitude demonstrating his love to His disciples.

Christ demonstrated His love for His followers, by washing their feet. I’m not recommending you follow suit. However, it only makes sense that the church leader, Pastor, or corporate CEO would use Christ’s example to challenge traditional habits to demonstrate his love for his people.

Leadership is … showing the people you lead, the full extent of your love for Christ.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… Leading From Your Heart #300

Heart values are significant to the Servant Leader. Christ reminds us, “The things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart”. (Matthew 15:18 NIV) The heart values of  Servant Leaders are not designed for self-gratification and the glory of men. “A true servant does what he does from the heart to be seen by the Lord, not by men.” (Servant Leadership and Eldership)

The Servant Leader leads, as Christ did, from the heart. Instead of thinking control and personal power, the Christian Servant Leader lives by Christ’s values. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 2:5 KJV) This requires a transformation of thought, belief and practice. The Servant leader is not concerned about self, personal glory or individual accomplishment. “The substance of servant hood. It is about people who are willing to submit to the Lordship of Christ no matter what the personal implications.” (McManus, An Unstoppable Force)

“Real Servant Leadership begins when you decide to learn from and follow the real Servant Leader, Jesus Christ.” (Wilkes, Jesus on Leadership, Discovering the secrets of servant leadership from the life of Christ) Our daily life, work and volunteer activities should demonstrate Christ in all we do.

Servant Eldership is about serving others by serving Christ. Pastors, leaders, employers and volunteers, do you have a heart value to serve the people in your community? Do you serve from your heart filled with Christ’s love? What can you do this week to serve our Lord, the vision of your place of work and the church you attend? You, with God’s help, can change your heart, your neighbors heart and that of your community.  Christ did!

Leadership is … changing hearts not minds.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… Knowing God Personally #299

I love leadership in all its components. However, all the techniques, skills and motivation aside, where I really live and base my thinking is this. I’m a Bible based, faith focused, born again believer. I take my Bible and my relationship with my Heavenly Father seriously. I’m a Christian. You can be as well because God loves you.

“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV)

We were designed with a plan.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:13-16 NIV)

We have all sinned. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 NIV)

Christ lived and died paying the price. He gave his life for you. “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners. Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV) Christ said, “I have come that they may have life, and may have it to the full”. (John 10:10 NIV)

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NIV)

We need to receive Christ. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12 NIV)

We receive Christ through Faith. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

As we receive Christ we experience a new birth. Pray today for God to forgive your sin and come to live within your heart. He has gone to prepare a place for you.

Leadership is, accepting God’s call.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… Knowing and Following God’s Call #296

Do you have a Damascus Road experience? Paul did. Did God ask you to join Joshua and visit the Promised Land? Caleb responded. Did God challenge and train you to lead upwards of a million people through strife, complaining and a dry land experience in the Red Sea? Moses accepted the challenge. Your experience may not have been as dramatic as these. But, you have been called to a unique role.

My High School experience was not positive. I graduated, attended Bible College then University for my degree in clinical Psychology moving toward a career in Family Counselling. I envisioned my career dealing with individual, family conflict and addictions.

My family and friends consistently told me I’d have a career in administration. My response was ‘no way was I going to push a pencil for my career’. I wanted to do real work with real people. Hmm! Our Bible College President and mentor confided in me that he felt I would be heading to the secular world and ministry later. He encouraged me to read about Caleb. I’ve identified with Caleb ever since.

Throughout this awesome career it has been a privilege to follow God’s calling and plan. As the Western Coordinator with a National Organization of Evangelical churches I was leading and counselling Pastors and church leaders across Western Canada. In my current role I coach leaders in person and by phone having the privilege of touching faith based leaders worldwide. It is an awesome privilege to follow God’s plan.

“It is as great and as difficult a spiritual calling to run the factories and the mines, the banks and the department stores, the schools and government agencies for the kingdom of God as it is to pastor a church or serve as an evangelist.”  (Crane and Hamel, Executive Influence)

Throughout a fascinating career in the secular and ministry worlds it was obvious that God had a plan and we are thankful.

Leadership is … joining God’s call.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… Standing in the Gap #295

“Leaders are found everywhere. Demographics pay no role in whether or not someone is going to become an exemplary leader. Leadership is not a birthright. It’s not about position or title. It’s not about power or authority. It’s not about celebrity or wealth. It’s not about being a CEO, president, general, or prime minister. It’s not about being a superstar. And it’s most assuredly not about some charismatic gift. Leadership is not about who you are or where you came from. It’s about what you do.” (Kouzes, Posner, The Truth about Leadership)

Leadership is for today. The skills, abilities and character traits are readily available for those who choose and are willing to challenge the status quo and stand up to be counted.

Leaders are informed. They read, listen and learn. Their skill, knowledge and expertise increases as the topic moves closer to their area of specialty. When recruiting staff and volunteers, they look for competence in skill, character and personality. Leaders are motivated and excited about the future. They guide their people, followers and organizations towards a positive outcome. They realize talent is scarce and will encourage others to achieve success in their own lives. They strive for a balance where employee/volunteers receive a personal benefit by working with an organization and the organization receives a similar benefit by employing the individual.

The effective leader follows an ethical standard. Their personal values are consistent, supported and integrated within the organization they lead. They are strategic in their decisions. They evaluate risks depending on the outcome to their people and for the organization.

They serve on Boards to make a lasting contribution. They create job satisfaction.

God is looking for effective leaders. He wanted effective leaders in history, “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV). He is still looking for effective leaders today.

Leadership is, knowing your calling and standing in the gap with God.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… A Personal Relationship With God #293

The Christian Servant Leader has a personal relationship with God. Like the men and women of the Bible, “Enoch walked faithfully with God”. (Genesis 5:22 NIV) “Noah found favor is the eyes of the Lord”. (Genesis 6:8 NIV) The Lord spoke to Moses “Face to face, as a man speaks to a friend”. (Exodus 33:11 NIV) “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart”. (Acts 13:22 NIV) “The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people”. (1 Samuel 13:14 NIV) We need to be like the disciples, they didn’t follow a position, they followed Christ, “They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way”. (Mark 10:32 NIV) The Christian Servant Leader has a personal relationship with Christ. “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life”. (1 John 5:11-12 NIV)

The Christian Servant Leader exudes love and care through the heart characteristics of faith, patience and a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. These heart characteristics are modeled outwardly through caring, service, prayer and a continual love for God’s word. The very first step in developing a personal relationship with Christ is to accept his gift, “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life”. (John 3:16 NIV)

God is still looking for men and women after his own heart; individuals who have a personal relationship with Christ. People of faith, trust and love who are willing to give their lives in service.

A relationship, like a friendship, goes both ways. “Jesus cultivated extraordinary relationships with his followers. He invested deeply in others and personally attended to people and dedicated himself to meeting their needs…and encourage an atmosphere of openness, accountability and equity.” (Angie Mays, Courteous Rebel Jesus’ Model of Leadership)

As a Christian Servant Leader, do you cultivate extraordinary relationships with your followers? As you share your personal relationship with Christ, others will follow your lead.

Leadership is, people seeing Christ in you.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… Getting It Right #290

Are you adrift with ineffective leadership? Many Christian leaders have adopted leadership styles without a Biblical standard. They don’t lead by serving. They may set goals, monitor performance, counsel, recruit, motivate and discipline. But, following the latest guru or fad of the month club doesn’t work.

“Much of the church is spiritually impotent-void of vital, personal and intimate walk with God. Having fallen into the cult of the comfortable, the church, for the most part, is no long a power to be reckoned with. It has largely lost the respect of the masses; it is often no longer a power to be reckoned with. It has largely lost the respect of the masses’ it is often the object of ridicule. Tragically, it has become the last place our nation would turn for help.” (Bill Bright, The coming Revival America’s Call to Fast, Pray and “Seek God’s Face”)

“Jesus shrugged it off. Every tree that wasn’t planted by my Father in heaven will be pulled up by its roots. Forget them. They are blind men leading blind men. When a blind man leads a blind man, they both end up in the ditch.” (Matthew 15:13-14 MSG)

“Good leaders can make a small difference; bad leaders can make a huge negative difference”. (Fortune Magazine)

We’ve all heard the phrase, “History repeats itself’. To state it another way, the future will be the same as the past, unless something changes. As Christian leaders, if we want to have any impact on our future, we need to change. I’m not recommending a change in theology, values, prayer or Bible study. I’m suggesting as Christian leaders, we need to follow Christ’s example and exude Servant Leadership. We need to follow the blueprint.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2 NIV)

Are your followers growing in their relationship to their Heavenly Father? If not, why not?

Leadership is, following a Biblical standard of Servant Leadership.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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