25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”John 10:25-28
John Maxwell is my favorite writer on leadership. He teaches how to motivate others from a Christian perspective. This passage is from his article, The Heart of Leadership: Becoming a Servant Leader.
“The heart of leadership is serving others first, before yourself. Here’s the problem, most organizations operate from a hierarchical leadership structure. Leaders “move up” the ladder in an organization, and, once there, see themselves “above” their team. Despite its trending status – as well as its undeniable success – most people do not equate leadership to service. Rather than epitomizing humility, influence and meeting people where they are at, too many leaders think being a leader means power and authority.
Here’s the good news. Some of the top performing companies like Chick-fil-A, Best Buy, UPS, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Ritz Carlton and Southwest Airlines are led by self-described servant leaders. Their leadership qualities are people-centric, modeling servant leadership behavior and valuing service to others. They are humble – allowing their behavior to communicate their values and their appreciation for their people – and they are vigilant – in promoting the right attitude and belief systems that encourage others to succeed.”
Who is the greatest example of servant leadership? Jesus our Lord came to serve and not to be served. The greatest visionary in the history of the world thought of His Father and others whenever he made decisions. His philosophy of leadership came in conflict with the Pharisees and Sadducees who wanted power and for others to serve them.
Paul had the same views on leadership as Jesus.
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
Servant leadership is a Biblical teaching on how we are to lead and how we are to treat people. Leadership is influence and we are all leaders to someone. Love God, love others, and share the good news.
- Ditmer, Bob. 20 Bible Verses About Leadership: What Did Jesus Teach? In Church Leaders.
- Maxwell, John. The Heart of Leadership: Becoming a Servant Leader.
- Stetzer, Ed. The Exchange: Defining Leadership: What Is It and Why Does It Matter in Church? In Christianity Today.