Leading Like A Servant


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

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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