Matthew 20:25-28; Mark 10:42-44

The second pattern of leadership established by the Lord Jesus was that of leading like a servant. It is what sets Christian leadership apart from worldly leadership. It is the one leadership style that is uniquely Christian.

Jesus both taught and modeled servanthood. Jesus rejected all ideas of power held by the world and proposed something new. “Servant” is a strange word for a leader, but Jesus made it clear He had come to serve:

…But I am among you as he that serveth. (Luke 22:27)

Mark confirms that Jesus came not to be served, but to serve:

For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

You may ask, “How can I be a powerful leader if I am a servant?” Leading like a servant does not mean being a weak leader. It is not to say that leadership should not be energetic, aggressive, and strong against spiritual enemies.

The power of servanthood is that it humbles a person to the point that he can be used by God. This is illustrated in the life of Jesus Christ. Read Philippians 2:5-11 in your Bible. These verses explain how through humbling Himself as a servant and dying on the cross (verses 5-8), Jesus was exalted in great power (verses 9-11). The cross was the last place on earth anyone would look for a leader, but it became the “power of God unto salvation” (1 Corinthians 1:18). In God’s Kingdom, the order of many things is reversed. We are strong when we are weak, receive when we give, and live by dying. As a leader, you become powerful through serving.

Read Matthew 20:25-28 and Mark 10:42-44. These passages show four qualities of worldly leaders that contrast the characteristics of Christian leaders:

  1. Secular leaders have dominion over their followers: “Dominion” in this text means “oppressive, controlling force.” Servant leaders do not oppress or control their followers.
  2. Secular leaders exercise authority over followers: The word “authority” in this text means “superiority.” Christian leaders are called to service, not superiority.
  3. Secular leaders are chiefs over their followers: The word “chief” in this text means to be in first place. In God’s Kingdom, the first are last.
  4. Secular leaders are lords over those they lead: The word “lord” means one to whom service is due. The Christian leader, however, serves his followers. As servants, we serve the Body of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:5) and lost and dying humanity (Matthew 25:40).

Make this declaration:

I will be a servant of God to the Body of Christ.


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