It was an awesome privilege to watch a Servant Leader this week.  She could have been a CEO leading hundreds of employees, balancing a significant budget but wasn’t.  She could have been a Pastor leading a growing healthy congregation to work together for God’s glory, but wasn’t. She could have been the Board Chair of a major Church or Mission organization, but wasn’t. She could have been an entrepreneur designing and building a new product and business but wasn’t.  Who was she? She had the most amazing skill of serving and caring for her team.

As a Servant Leader she served the team as a shepherd leads the flock. Sheep must be led, not controlled or forced. Individual sheep or a whole herd will bite, run and fight if they are not treated well.

“I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.” (Ezekiel 34:11 NIV) Paul says, “Serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:13 NIV)

“Shepherds are to know the sheep, feed the sheep, lead the sheep and protect the sheep.” (Witmer, 2010)

“To be a successful leader, you’re going to have to interact with (people) in much the same way that a shepherd interacts with his sheep.” Further, “the first principle of the Way of the Shepherd is to always know the condition of your flock … when directing your people, use persuasion, not coercion. Instead of making pronouncements, make requests. Offer suggestions and ideas. Don’t dictate and demand; instead, advocate and recommend.” (Leman & Pentak, 2004)

Servant Leaders are known by their actions. Their reputation both precedes and follows them.

“Christ’s model is clearly servant empowered leadership. Servant Leadership cares more about people.” (Page, 2009)

The Servant Leader lives the positive results achieved by their team. The Christian Servant Leader listens to the Lord, people within and without the organization while interacting with their people. Their followers are dedicated, caring workers who put others ahead of themselves. Working for a Servant Leader is a privilege. The Servant Leader knows your name, remembers birthdays, knows your family, your hobbies and special interests. Time and work productivity is important, but saying ‘thank you’, caring and finding time to demonstrate God’s love is what serving is all about.

“…when it comes to the people who are responsible for making … organizations healthy, it’s all about character.  Yes, character.” (Irwin & Lencioni, 2012)

Where was I this week? I wasn’t leading anything. I wasn’t communicating with people worldwide.  I wasn’t coaching leaders. I was a volunteer sitting in the back row to watch and pray at the most awesome Vacation Bible School that I’ve ever seen.

Servant Leaders this week, you have my awesome thanks.

Laurie D. Kennedy

Leadership Coach

Author of Leadership Is … Devotions for Servant Leaders