How would you define Servant Leadership? Servant Leadership is exercising real, Godly leadership. It is as Christ did when He used a towel to wipe his disciple’s feet. It involves influencing, equipping, and empowering people to accomplish God's purpose and plan. It is serving others unselfishly while influencing and empowering them to grow in a Christ-directed, purposeful direction. This was an uncommon trait in Jesus’ time, just as it is in ours; do not let it be uncommon for you! Being a leader in the church, or in the home for a husband, is never a force of personality; it is earning that respect because you love and care (1 Kings 3:9; Luke 22:25-28; Matthew 25:21; Mark 9:33-37; John 5:19; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Timothy 2:24; Hebrews 13:17). Servant leadership embodies the fruit and character of our Lord. It requires being a servant before you attempt to direct others. If a leader just directs and never serves, there is a good chance he is not a real leader; rather, he is a pretender, exercising his agenda—not God’s call and Will. A Profile of a Servant Leader: Galatians 2:20-21 - Someone who has the attitudes that Jesus had! - Someone who has been transformed by Christ, with faith as the core of being, fuelled by Christ, not self! - Someone who places others' needs first! - Someone who has eternal values and God's timing in mind! - Someone who places integrity ahead of ambition! (I Tim. 3:2a & 7a) - Someone who sees glorifying Christ and serving Him as the measure of success! What are the opposites? Worldly Leadership Models whose underlying principles are centered on; - Manipulation, - Political Self-Centered Agendas, - Exploitation! - etc These types of leadership models may seem to be the common approach, but they eventually fragment, and even destroy a church. The leadership for the church must come from the Jesus model, not the business model! Rotten leadership is more destructive than a legion of demons, as it corrupts Godly principles and displays a skewed understanding of our call to follow Christ. It seeks its own, and not the Word. In the light of the above, each and every one would need to pose at this point and ask ourselves; - How do I exhibit Servant Leadership in my daily life? - What can I do to develop a better willingness to have a serving attitude in leadership and value people rather than manipulate them? - What blocks Servant Leadership from working and being exhibited in me? - How can I make Servant Leadership function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainly and stress? - How does manipulating others counteract Servant Leadership? - What is the cost to others (God, family, friends, neighbors, church, workplace, etc.) when you are a leader who is self-centered? - What happens to your church and community, and with the opportunities God gives you, when you are in leadership for personal reasons or for control? - What happens to our church and community when those who are in leadership are there for personal reasons or for control? - What issue, in our church, would improve with more Servant Leadership? (..to be continued in the next Edition ...) Principles Following are some of the principles which are portrayed by servant leaders in the bible. We as Christians should learn and embrace them; - Servant Leaders of Jesus Christ and His church have His “basin and towel” attitude! (John 13:1-17; 1 Corinthians 9:26,27) - Servant Leaders do not neglect their family! - Servant Leaders are not weak--they are meek (strength under control)! - Be willing to challenge the system, ask questions, take risks, and, when necessary, be willing to change. - Christian leaders and followers must not allow personal agendas or power issues get in the way of God’s Word or of reaching the goal of the church (if the goal is Biblical). - Servant Leaders think strategically, like a quarterback does in football. They see the big picture, what is needed to run plays, see possible options and defenses needed in order to better glorify our Lord in life, programs, and church. - Servant Leaders know how to lead themselves and others in order to bring the church deeper into the heart of God so to worship and glorify Him! - Servant Leaders are not willing to compromise truth or the Word just to be more effective! - Servant Leaders should be able, while modeling the way, to get others to follow, empowering them to grow spiritually and in ministry. - Servant Leaders include the team in all major decisions and strategic planning for the ministry. - Servant Leaders remember Barnabus and his relationship to the disciple, Paul. The early church leadership, a model in which we need to apply too, linked them to each other. - Servant Leaders work within their call, gifts, and Scripture. They are open and motivated by the Holy Spirit, which is not just a charismatic thing! (2 Tim 1:6,7) - Servant Leadership is a team approach! The teammates know that working together is giving without receiving, as well as personally and corporately growing spiritually! - Servant Leaders do not forget to support the church’s overall vision and purpose statement, or place personal feelings higher or in place of it. Each team and Servant Leader is a working part amongst the other parts. Just as a car cannot go anywhere with just an engine, each team and leader contribute to the overall mission and purpose of the church. - Servant Leaders know that loyalty, harmony, unity, trust, and commitment come from a collaboratively encouraging environment. - Servant Leaders listen to everyone, not just the ones in power or ones who have the influence! - Servant Leaders are extremely important! They set the tone for the church. Servant Leaders know that the effectiveness of their empowerment, training, and supervising of the team will determine the effectiveness of the ministry and church. - Servant Leaders can and should expect that Satan will not be happy with them, and must be aware of his various ways of distraction and confusion, especially when success comes which infringes on his ground. The church is Satan’s ground all to often!! - Servant Leaders will resist the latest fads and leadership trends that are unbiblical! Yet, they will use ones to make them more effective that are in character of our Lord! Examples might be budgeting and time management. · These principles will take time to learn, as they cut across what we may have learned in seminary, at conferences, or from high priced consultants. Nevertheless, we are called to run a church this way, His way. We can learn it and implement it! Do you follow the above servant leadership principles? · Doing church is not about numbers, traditions or what you think church is supposed to be, it is about worship and exercising our trust and obedience in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! May God bless you. Snr. Pastor George K. Ndungu Ambassadors for Christ Fellowship - Ndenderu
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