The Lord Jesus taught His disciples about being leaders that serve. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” (Mark 9:35-37)
Three questions come to mind that I need to ask myself as I serve as a Christian leader:
1. AM I PRIDEFUL?
The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 2:3-7, 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. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Phil 2:3–7)
2. DO I SHARE MY MINISTRY?
Henry and Richard Blackaby (Spiritual Leadership, 2006, pp.110-111) remind us servant leaders:
- Give people freedom to fail
- Recognize the success of others
- Give encouragement and support
3. WHAT IS MY MOTIVE?
Jeff Iorg, in his book The Characteristic of Leadership: Nine Qualities that Define Great Leaders, says, “Leaders should sacrifice themselves, care for people, and be personally involved with their followers” (p.116). He addresses the issues of motives by offering a way to self-examine ourselves to see if we indeed are leading from a servant leaders heart. He provides the following choices to make sure we are on track:
- Choose to do a dirty job: like cleaning toilets, changing diapers, and do it without any fanfare or expectation of appreciation.
- Choose to serve anonymously/ secretly: doing this without recognition or reward helps to purify motives; do something for someone else, but do not reveal your personal involvement, let it remain anonymous.
- Choose to serve an enemy: help them personally and quietly in their time of need.
- Choose to make someone else successful: remember “it is not all about you” and assisting someone else with their accomplishments, helping them succeed is a great way to purify your motives. (pp.131-136).
Thanks for reading and for serving! If I or the SBC of Virginia can serve you or your church please let us know. Thank you for your partnership in the gospel.
Your brother in Christ,