Tag: 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… Knowing Who You Serve #289

Servant Leadership is alive and healthy in many churches. These focused and value driven churches recognize and utilize the individual spiritual gifts of their people. The service they provide is a priority and foremost in their thinking. Their Vision, Values and procedures are infused with service. They live, breathe and duplicate themselves through loving and caring service. These churches are growing, winning their communities to Christ and making a difference in our world.

As Christian leaders we have an awesome calling. We are all uniquely gifted and dedicated providing a mosaic of skills to accomplish God’s purpose. Winning others to Christ, sharing God’s love at home, work and church, while sharing Biblical principles. Servant Leadership is always God honoring.

Character and values are critical to the Servant Leader. “No man can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24 NIV) Your Biblical application shows every day at work. Scripture will be integrated and each word covered in prayer.

As Christian Leaders we are at decision point. We cannot lead by tradition, and ‘the way we’ve always done it’. It isn’t working.

In our churches we need Biblically based Servant Leaders that lead effectively. Christ said, “Every kingdom (Church) divided against itself will be ruined”. (Matthew 12:25 NIV) “It is the Lord Christ you are serving”. (Colossians 3:24 NIV) “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people”. (Ephesians 6:7 NIV)

We are either in this world to win others to Christ or we are not. The most significant transformation is available to our leaders who take the initiative to learn, grow and begin the journey to be a Christian Servant leader.

Our world is waiting for us to make the change.

Leadership is learning to serve with a Christ like attitude.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Values #278

Our heartfelt values drive our thinking, activities and behavior. As a leader of a church or business enterprise your values are demonstrated consistently in everything you do.

“Values are those things we consider or rate highly, prize, esteem or deem important.” (James C. Hunter, The World’s most powerful Leadership Principle)

Values are un-compromisable, un-debatable truths, characteristics that drive and direct behaviour.  They are motivational; they give reason to why we do things. They are restrictive and place boundaries to guide our behaviour. They provide the core of individual, group or organizational identity. They are enduring judgments about what you consider to be important, like the shoulders on a major highway. Values can be described as what we treasure the most, those things we want to live or die for. They are the belief characteristics that distinguish us one from another.

Leaders who are living by their values reap a great benefit from the Lord; David said they “will never be shaken.” (Psalm 112:6 NKJV)

Leadership is value based.  What values guide your leadership?

What values are so strong in your life that you would resign before you would compromise?

As a Christian Servant Leader, I strive to integrate my spiritual values on the job.  God created me, “in His own image”. (Genesis 1:27 NIV) He pre-wired skills, abilities and gifts before my birth.  Jeremiah illustrates, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV) or as David said, “you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13 NIV).

“Give me ten men that hate nothing but sin and love nothing but God and we will change the world.” (John Wesley quoted in Designed to Lead by Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck)

Leadership is a God directed Servant Leadership life of serving, giving and living the life God designed for us.

Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Christ’s Leadership #252

Laurie Kennedy“True Greatness, true leadership, is found in giving yourself in service to others, not in coaxing or inducing others to serve you.” (J. Oswald Sanders, Principles of Excellence For Every Believer)

Servant Leadership is not a toolbox of skills, talents and strategies, each uniquely chosen, manipulated and abused at the whim of the leader. Servant Leadership is not one person controlling, whining and leaving others feeling they have been taken advantage of. It is not a ‘we as opposed to they’ challenge. It is not teams suspicious of others or individuals vying for power, control or personal empire building. It is not competition between teams working to manipulate for personal achievement. It is not comparing, contrasting and boasting or accepting personal accolades for someone else’s achievement.

Servant Leadership is not power and control over others; “You know the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them”. (Matthew 20:25 NIV) Servant Leadership is not misguided, “Those who guide this people mislead them and those who are guided are led astray”. (Isaiah 9:16 NIV) Servant Leadership is not working independently where “everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 21:25 NIV) or “if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit”. (Matthew 15:14 NIV)

Rehoboam had an opportunity to demonstrate Servant Leadership when his advisors said, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants”. (1 Kings 12:7 NIV) Rehoboam rejected the advice and made his followers’ workload heavier. (As a postscript, his 17 year reign was full of wars and fighting.) Rehoboam “did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord”. (2 Chronicles 12:14 NIV)

Whether in church or the corporate world, the one-person show isn’t effective. “Business (ministry) simply won’t work if each of us is only in it for ourselves”. (Simons, Fast Company) Christ set the standard of service for us.

Leadership is … serving first.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is About Others! # 251

Laurie KennedyLeadership is not about you. It is about others. If you are called to be a leader? It is and will be an awesome journey. You’ll have mountain top experiences. You will be thrilled to see others grow and serve. You’ll walk through some valleys. You will feel the pain and hurt of setback. You will also know that the Leadership calling to serve is an awesome opportunity.

Just like the Shepherd of old, the Leader of today is responsible to lead the sheep, to inspire followers to be awesome and to make a difference in the lives of others. The point is to demonstrate Christ’s love and to make a difference in the lives of those who follow you.

The effective Servant Leader will encourage, congratulate, and celebrate the team and others’ experience. As leaders trust others, their followers will trust them. Your people are encouraged as they follow a Vision they believe in. Great people leave when they are not respected. The leader/follower is not a contract, it is a relationship.

“Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed. (Matthew 4:19-20 MSG) He sat down and summoned the Twelve. “So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35 MSG)

“Leadership, it turns out, is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge. The closest thing I can equate to servant leaders is the responsibility of a parent.” (Servant Leadership in Action, Ken Blanchard and Renee Broadwell)

As parents we guide direct and control.  However, we will sacrifice anything for our kids. The same goes for the Servant Leader.

Leadership is … remembering there is no I in team.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Love and Respect #244

Laurie KennedyAs a Servant Leader you are not the important person. You are not the power broker and may not be the boss. The Servant Leader is primarily responsible to and feels accountability to those who follow. The Leader is, “the servant of the followership”. (Marquardt, Global Leaders for the Twenty-First Century) “It’s not about me; it’s about my crew”. (Navy Commander Michael Abrashoff USS Benfold, Fast Company.

Christ’s love sets the pattern for us. Paul tells us, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres … the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 & 13 NIV)

As Lundy puts it, “The single most important skill of an executive (leader) was his or her ability to get along with people. If you cannot get along with other people, then you are disqualified as a Servant Leader”. (Servant Leadership for Slow Learners)

Love and respect for people are terms that should be commonplace and a concept that is felt in all our church discussions, board meetings, task forces and daily discussions at work. This week, strive to find ways to demonstrate God’s love to your work associates through love and care. As a leader, you are only effective when you build on your people skills and your people feel cared for.

Take a minute and think though the 1 Corinthians verses again. Imagine these verses forming the culture at your place of worship. As Christian Servant Leaders we can and should redefine the standard by handling all our interactions with love and respect. As Christian Leaders, at home, with neighbors, at work and at church we need to be known by His love.

Leadership is … a Servant Leader committed to serving others.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership IsServant Leadership #243

Laurie KennedyServant Leadership is different, based on values, character and integrity with roots in Christ’s teaching.

Servant Leadership is “Diametrically opposed to the typically secular, top down, Manager as control, model of organizations.” (With an Eye on the Future; Development and Mission in the 21st. Century, Elmer and McKinney)

“Servant Leadership is not worldly leadership with the rough edges knocked off and a dollop of good will toward others layered on. It’s something fundamentally different in both internal origin and external motivation and process.” (Dr. Guy Saffold, Trinity Western University)

Servant Leadership turns the power and control motivated organizational chart upside down, inside out and builds a team of equals. Servant Leadership is based on a different set of values than other leadership styles. In the traditional organization, power, authority and salary are loosely tied to the number of employees supervised. In Servant Leadership, the value is “not the number of one’s servants but the number of whom one serves.” (J. D. Lundy, Servant Leadership for Slow Learners)

Servant Leadership is value based and follows Christ’s example by putting others first. The challenge is to re-learn, re-focus and work to change our style of leading. The power and control method doesn’t encourage long-term change, individual growth or caring relationships. The ‘me first’ or ‘do it my way’ philosophy doesn’t build value and character into those individuals we work with. It is only as we learn to live and demonstrate God’s love through service that others will be impacted to accomplish the vision of our organization and Gods long-term plan.

Christ put it like this, The greatest among you will be your servant.  For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 23:11-12 NIV)

What can you do today to add value to those individuals within your sphere of influence?

Leadership is … demonstrating God’s love by adding value to someone’s life.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Vision Focused #240

Laurie Kennedy“Vision and commitment are critical to turn an organization around to revitalize it, make it more flexible, innovative, and competitive.” (Angie Mays, Courteous Rebel Jesus’ Model of Leadership)

It is a privilege to work with Leaders encouraging them toward the Biblical characteristics of Christian Servant Leadership.  As Jonathan Swift illustrates, “Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.” Being a Visionary under God’s leadership is a faith driven privilege to let go and let God. Just like the Israelites, we each have days of doubt. Our challenge is to look to God each and every day to find His plan for our lives.

The writer of Proverbs tells us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish”. (Proverbs 29:18 KJV) the prophet Haggai tells us to “Give careful thought to your ways”, (Haggai 1:5 NIV) and then Habakkuk, a leader contemporary with Jeremiah and Ezekiel says we need to “write the vision, and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that who reads it”. (Habakkuk 2:2 NKJV) Vision is living by faith to accomplish what God has in mind even when the accomplishment doesn’t seem realistic. The writer of Hebrews suggests we need to “Live by faith”. (Hebrews 10:38 NIV) as scriptural individuals did, literally trusting God by faith for their future. “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark”. (Hebrews 11:7 NIV)

As a Christian Leader, our role is to discover the Vision and plan that God has for us. Healthy Churches, Mission organizations and businesses are led by Leaders, Boards and Teams that carefully follow their prayerful dream towards God’s ultimate vision.

Leadership is … praying, for God’s Vision for yourself, your family and your church.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is the Unique Flavor That Makes the Difference

Laurie KennedyI had the awesome privilege of serving as the Regional Director for one of Canada’s largest Evangelical denominations. My role for eleven years was described in a variety of ways. Many called me a Pastor’s Pastor. Others said I was the Air Traffic Controller to assist Pastors and Church Boards with fine tuning and course correction during level flight. The role became critical during take-off, landing and turbulence. (Hiring, firing and recruiting of staff.)

Consider, the husbandman in Luke 13:6-9. I didn’t own the vineyard but I did represent the owner to pray and work with our Pastors and leaders on a daily basis.

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” (Luke 13:6-9 New International Version NIV)

My role was to serve our Lord and the thousands of people who attended our churches by encouraging and showing our Pastors and leaders how to improve their spiritual and organizational health.

A good friend of mine owns an Ice Cream store. He tells me that milkshakes are almost identical except for a small ingredient. Hmm! He confirms the difference between an awesome strawberry shake and the also ran is only 4%. So, I looked it up. Milk shakes contain milk, ice, salt, fruit flavor and typically a secret additional ingredient.

The majority of churches have similar components.  There is music, announcements, Bible reading, prayer, a Sunday School program, a message, and community involvement to name a few. They also have one or more staff and some key volunteer leaders. Some churches are healthy while others are not. Remember the vast difference in milkshakes is due to 4% of flavor.

My intention is to illustrate that some churches lack some ingredients. For this illustration the missing ingredients often include a lack of prayer support, Servant Leadership, Ethics, Team work, Accountability and Results Orientation. Could these points be your missing 4%?

Leadership is the flavor that makes you and your church unique, special and encourages people to come back

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Vision, Mission & Values

 

Laurie KennedyThis week we conclude our annual review of the organizational foundation principles. Every organization whether Business, Church or Mission needs Vision, Mission and Values statements. As illustrative material this is the published Vision, Mission and Values of the Jethro Group.  This is the indispensable foundation of our Blog, Coaching, Consulting and Speaking activities.

Vision:

Our Vision is the ‘What’ we do. The Jethro Group will complete its God directed work when this statement is achieved.

“Healthy Leaders: leading, serving and caring with integrity.”

Mission:

Our Mission is the ‘How’. The Jethro Group will work tirelessly to accomplish our God directed Vision by:

“Influencing our world strategically, demonstrating God’s love, integrating, family, church and the corporate world of business into a life of integrity, excellence and Servant Leadership.”

Values:

Our Values are the ‘Foundation’ statements that are without compromise and non-negotiable statements of belief and action. All decisions and the results of the Jethro Group reflect the Values.

  • Integrity
  • Faith Focused
  • Family Devoted
  • Teamwork
  • Servant Leadership
  • Prayer Directed
  • Demonstrating God’s love
  • Excellence

Motto:

The ‘motto’ is casual.  It is a tag line, an elevator speech, a reference point that summarizes everything we do. It is also designed to fit on a T shirt.

“Coaching Leaders to Serve”

Leadership is … ensuring your Vision, Mission and Values are known believed and lived daily by everyone in your organization.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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