Christian Servant Leadership
In a study on Servant Leadership, we saw that the foundation of leadership was found in the perfect example of the Last Supper when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.
John 13:1-Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
In the middle of the Passover meal, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.
He became a living example of a servant leader. He took the lowest position in relationship to His own.
He showed them by perfect example, at the Last Supper He knelt at their feet to serve them, telling them that “you will be blessed if you do it.”
This is the foundation of servant leadership. Follow Jesus.
His chief characteristic is that of the suffering servant. He came not to be served but to serve. His life was one of humility embracing a forgetting of self with absorption in service to others.
Paul echoed the humility in the character of Jesus in Philippians 2:
Philippians 2:3-4 –Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.
We are taught that the “old”, or former way of leadership has characteristics of domination, control and exhibitions of power. The new and Christ-like servant leadership is characterized as being compassionate, patient, humble and sacrificial (our ego is the cost). In the Life of the Son of God, his Life was the cost. Servant leadership is costly.
But there are blessings.
John 13:16-17 -Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
The blessing is the joy that flows from communion with God. He is an ever-present hope in the hearts of those who are faithful to Him. We are reminded to combine knowledge with action through service. We are being “sent” out into the world to serve in God’s purpose after being given the lessons on Servant Leadership.
Leadership Quotes of C.S. Lewis
• You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
• Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less
• Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.
Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.
• Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.
• The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.
• We are what we believe we are.
Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.
• The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
• If a man thinks he is not conceited, he is very conceited indeed.
• There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
• No good work is done anywhere without aid from the Father of Lights.
• It is not your business to succeed, but to do right; when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
You must ask for God’s help. … After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again.
• God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.
Quotes on Leadership from Servant Leaders
“The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.”–Robert K. Greenleaf
“One of the problems with discipleship is you can’t hide…You have to be a Godly person”. “Natural temperament always has a dark side because it participates in your idols”. “Unless you’re really a Godly person, discipleship will not work because people aren’t going to believe you”. “You can’t lead them where you are not yourself”. —Tim Keller
“The three Cs of spiritual leadership are Character, Competency, and Confidence. Character must lead.” “Humility is the most important attribute of character”. “If you lead with confidence, your competency is going to be exposed.” “The hardest person that you will ever lead is yourself”. “A good leader is a great listener”. –Tom Holliday, Alexandria Presbyterian Church
“A true shepherd leads the way. He does not merely point the way.” — Leonard Ravenhill
“It takes more than a busy church, a friendly church, or even an evangelical church to impact a community for Christ. It must be a church ablaze, led by leaders who are ablaze for God”. —Wesley L. Duewel
“The heart of the learner is humble, the student is not above his master, he must learn to lead, Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-25 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it”. “You offer yourself to Him. We do that to the Power to make ourselves Holy. Without Effort. It is His Effort. Not our own. It is Divine Power.” —Tom Holliday, Alexandria Presbyterian Church
“The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.” —John Stott
“Never when in authority rebuke anyone in anger, but only when anger has passed away; and so shall the rebuke bring forth good fruit.” – Teresa of Avila
“The first order of things to be changed is me, the leader. After I consider how hard it is to change myself, then I will understand the challenge of trying to change others. This is the ultimate test of leadership”. – John Maxwell
“The very first thing which needs to be said about Christian ministers of all kinds is that they are “under” people as their servants rather than “over” them (as their leaders, let alone their lords). Jesus made this absolutely plain. The chief characteristic of Christian leaders, he insisted, is humility not authority, and gentleness not power”. –-John Stott
“There never comes a time when grace ends and the self has to begin again, and this applies to what we call our service as much as to any other part of our Christian lives. In no place do we see the need to know the way of grace more than in the impartation of this life to others. Our service for our fellows does not come from strained efforts on our part to live for them but rather from seeing Jesus doing so, and then simply making ourselves available to Him that we may be a channel of His grace and power to them.” -Roy and Revel Hession, We Would See Jesus
“The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.” – John Stott
“According to Scripture, virtually everything that truly qualifies a person for leadership is directly related to character. It’s not about style, status, personal charisma, clout, or worldly measurements of success. Integrity is the main issue that makes the difference between a good leader and a bad one”. –John MacArthur
“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me”. —Jim Elliot
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” –-Martin Luther King Jr.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way”. —John C. Maxwell
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“God ultimately raises up leaders for one primary reason: His glory. He shows His power in our weakness. He demonstrates His wisdom in our folly. We are all like a turtle on a fence post. If you walk by a fence post and see a turtle on top of it, then you know someone came by and put it there. In the same way, God gives leadership according to His good pleasure.” —Matt Chandler
“A true and safe leader is likely to be one who has no desire to lead, but is forced into a position of leadership by the inward pressure of the Holy Spirit and the press of the external situation. Such were Moses and David and the Old Testament prophets. I think there was hardly a great leader from Paul to the present day but that was drafted by the Holy Spirit for the task, and commissioned by the Lord of the Church to fill a position he had little heart for. I believe it might be accepted as a fairly reliable rule of thumb that the man who is ambitious to lead is disqualified as a leader. The true leader will have no desire to lord it over God’s heritage, but will be humble, gentle, self-sacrificing, and altogether as ready to follow as to lead, when the Spirit makes it clear that a wiser and more gifted man than himself has appeared.” — A.W. Tozer
“He (God) sees the issues, rough spots and the problems and He will bring people and things into your life who will (purposely) ‘rub’ you the wrong way to continue to give you the chance to reform and refine yourself; developing character and ability to have a deeper and deeper experience of Him and of His Grace.” “He is our reason. He is our end”. We need not lust for greater and greater service but rather only to see Jesus.” Pastor Tom Holliday, Alexandria Presbyterian Church
Scripture on Leadership
But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. Luke 22:26
As each has received a gift, employ it in serving one another, as good managers of the grace of God in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10
(God said…) “He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, like the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain.”
But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.
He must become greater; I must become less.
Select capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain–and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.