The Servant Leader puts others first. There is no “me first”, no self-serving, no criticism and no put downs in character. The Servant Leader serves, without a desire for control.
Paul encourages us to, “Excel in this grace of giving.” (11 Corinthians 8:7 NIV) Luke confirms, “But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.” (Luke 14:10 NIV) Or, as illustrated by John, our leadership should demonstrate Christ’s love, remembering his example that the good shepherd “lays down his life for the sheep”. (John 10:11 NIV) In your relationships with one another “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 2:5 NIV) Paul encourages us that Christ “made himself nothing, by taking the very nature of a servant.” (Philippians 2:7 NIV)
“Vulnerability grows relationship capital: Pastors who are appropriately vulnerable with their congregations build relationship capital. Developing relationship capital is critical in the dynamics of ministry politics.” (Burns, Chapman & Guthrie, 2013)
Watch your local and national news broadcasts. Count the headliners and note which ones are controlling, “me first”, “my way or the highway”, type A personalities. You won’t see a Servant Leader boast or take credit personally on the news. They don’t seek the headlines. They don’t seek to be noticed and they give credit to their staff and associates.
Now imagine the difference and the influence for God’s glory when dedicated Servant Leaders define a God focused agenda of service, putting their staff, associates and followers first.
The difference is not only a leadership philosophy but organizational as well. Remember Moses? “Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else,” (Numbers 12:3 NIV)
Let’s each of us let go of ‘our’ agenda and live God’s agenda.
Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy
Author, Leadership is Devotions for Servant Leaders