“Christian Servant Leadership -Quotes and Scripture”, C.S. Lewis & Christian Leaders (humility, shepherding, servants of God)

Christian Servant Leadership – Quotes from Servant Leaders and Scripture. 

Qualities of a Strong Leader; 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.

• 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.

• The Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.

• 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.

• Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.

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

“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

“You lead your own heart first, then the flock.” “The twin graces of a gospel leader are humility and boldness.” (Acts 20:28) “Your ability to listen to other people has everything to do with your ability to listen to God”. –Tom Holliday, Pastor, 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.
John 10:2-4

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.
Matthew 5:16

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.
Matthew 20:26

He must become greater; I must become less.
John 3:30

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.
Exodus 18:21

“Humility, Hope, Faith & Excellence”, Quotes on Discipleship from Tom Holliday (Spiritual Leadership)

In 2019 I had the honor of listening to Pastor Tom Holliday, of Alexandria Presbyterian Church teach in a small fellowship group at his home in Alexandria, VA. I am so glad that I took notes to look back on and share! The theme was spiritual leadership and discipleship.

He spoke for about an hour listening for questions and comments focusing on the nature of the heart of a disciple. In this session, he focused on Humility, Hope, Faith, and Excellence.


We looked at 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”. Pastor Tom described that we are examining our character, the very core of our hearts, and how we live out our lives.

The heart of the learner is humble, he is not above his master, he must learn to follow. We ask ourselves to examine our hearts for all things within our own nature and in our lives that may be in opposition to God. The one that follows after Christ, in discipleship must constantly be denying and dying to himself so that he or she finds the Spirit of The Lord and walks in the Light.— Tom Holliday

Galatians 2:20-21 –I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

He continued, saying that none of us could ever be as trained as Jesus. Paul said, “Follow me, as I follow Christ”. (1 Corinthians 1:11)

Lord let me live an indwelled Christian Life. Teach us. We want to be as fully trained as possible as we can be in this life.” –Tom Holliday

Notes: The humility that is spoken of has a deep purpose. Humility as it alters the heart from the very core equips the disciple to

  • Follow Christ.
  • Examine one’s heart for all that is our nature that is in opposition to God.
  • In the Spirit of Christ, to die to self and walk in the light.

Live by faith in Christ whose death paid the price of our sin. We die in Him and He begins to live in us.


“There is no hope without effort. Hope in Christ he said- must be grown. We cannot remain passive. Many live with no hope at all.” –Tom Holliday

1 John 3:3 –And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

“Is your hope in the right thing? If you love if you hope, do you know that your hope is in Christ? Are you sure that you know what your hope is in? Is it in anything but Christ? What else might it be in? Is it in a perfect wife, a perfect husband, in being right?”–Tom Holliday

“If you don’t have a growing hope in all that He purchased for you by dying on the cross, in that you will see Him, and that you will become Like Him, and be changed instantaneously, then you need this HOPE.  You need that HOPE. This is what we anticipate. Also, in this life, today wants to be more like HIM.” –Tom Holliday

“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


“Faith. It starts with faith- but don’t put your faith in faith. Your faith can’t be your hope”. –Tom Holliday

2 Peter 5:5 -For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge.

“The word, Virtue. The Greek word “arete”, means excellence. It implies the ‘property’ of something. Example: what you were made to be. The excellence of a horse is to run fast. The excellence of a knife is made to cut well… The excellence of a disciple is to be like Jesus.” –Tom Holliday

“Faith can default to being only knowledgeable. It can lead to being “puffed up”, and stuffed with information.  What end does that lead to? Puffed-up knowledge can lead to the Three C’s getting mixed up- confidence preceding competency, competency preceding character, and so on.” –Tom Holliday

“Virtue is not what I do. It is not who I am. It is my life in family, school, community, church, and outward.” –Tom Holliday

Galatians 5:6 –For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

“Faith expressing through love. Love is the crowning Jewel.”–Tom Holliday

Notes: Faith working by love is the same as a new Christian being baptized into Christ in order to become new. Faith alone is not enough. That Love, Who is the crowing jewel of The Kingdom is Christ.

A quote from Huxley adds that “”Faith operative through love” must be identical with, or involve “the keeping of God’s commandments,” and “a new creature.” And Tyndale said, “faith, which by love is mighty in operation.”

Romans 1:4 -in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.


Pastor Tom continued, “What would you call your Spiritual Ceiling? Is it this high? (above the forehead), this high (above the head?) Do you think that you have grown all that you can? Does this make God sad? I believe that the ceiling is higher!”

“C.S. Lewis said that life is miraculous. That it was not like teaching a horse to jump, but that it was like teaching a horse to FLY. Can prayer teach a horse to fly? How are you limiting God in your life? Look to Jesus. What do you want His Spirit to do?”–Tom Holliday

“The Temptation is to see this life in terms of what “I” have done. Stop measuring experiences. Go to scripture. Jesus is doing the work.”–Tom Holliday

“We may not give grandeur or glorification, ‘apostification’ to ourselves. It is sin, it is attempting to do the work of Jesus, ourselves.” –Tom Holliday

As we begin to close in prayer, Pastor Tom reminds us, “Jesus gives you The Wanting. You can ask for it. Ask.”

Notes: The root of excellent is excel, meaning to raise, to raise oneself, surpass, literally—to rise out of, project. Excellent, therefore, is reserved for a thing unusually good for its kind, of exceptional merit and virtue. We strive for excellence because it is part of our nature. We are made in God’s Image and His excellence pours into everything that He does. Deuteronomy 32:4

Phillippians 1:9-10 —And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,

Tom Holliday – Alexandria Presbyterian Church

A study on Spiritual Leadership taught by Tom Holliday begins on September 18, 2022, at APC, Alexandria VA.

“Stepping out in Faith”, Quotes and Notes on Faith (Trusting God, Heart Perspective)

Stepping Out in Faith

Walking by Faith means that you are placing your faith in God before all else. Often we face difficult situations that put us in a sense of bondage to circumstances. Obstacles may seem overwhelming. When we place our trust in God to lead us forward, we step out in faith. My own experience in walking by faith is one of awe on an ever-deepening journey. We are promised God’s reward in scripture.

“And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

When we “walk by faith and not by sight”, (2 Corinthians 5:7) it means that we trust God in every circumstance that we face and that we aim to choose righteousness over sin no matter what the cost. In living, the heart’s perspective is to store up our treasures in heaven rather than on the earth.

When we step out in daily living, we are reminded of the need for action that follows faith. Each step is given to God, with a heart aimed toward Him, that trusts that He will reveal the next. It is a faith walk. When we take this miraculous walk with God, we may not see far, yet each step is revealed in its turn as we follow trusting His plan.

Proverbs 3:5-6 –Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Faith sacrifices selflessly and acts lovingly. The actions of faith are bold and courageous. True faith works its way out in action as well as belief. It walks itself forward as faith that follows God’s will and His commands through action. We exercise faith by stepping out.

Quotes on Walking by Faith

God in his wisdom, to make and keep us humble and to teach us to walk by faith, has hidden from us almost everything that we should like to know about the providential purposes which he is working out in the churches and in our own lives. –J. I. Packer

To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings. —George Mueller

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith. – Billy Graham

Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them. — Elisabeth Elliot

In faith, there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t. –Blaise Pascal

If the Lord fails me at this time, it will be the first time. –George Mueller

Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe. –Augustine

 Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. Faith is the belief that God will do what is right. –Max Lucado

 He calls us to trust him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through. –Francis Chan

Sainthood lies in the habit of referring the smallest actions to God. Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods. –C.S. Lewis

Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God. –William Carey

Trials should not surprise us, or cause us to doubt God’s faithfulness. Rather, we should actually be glad for them. God sends trials to strengthen our trust in him so that our faith will not fail. Our trials keep us trusting; they burn away our self confidence and drive us to our Savior. –Edmond Clowney

 Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand. –Thomas Aquinas