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By Rich Peterson, Church Relations 

You and I do what we do as pastors, missionaries, and church leaders because we have a passion for making a difference in our world. Some of us are even passionate about making the world a different place. We see what the world should be and could be and by the grace of God would be – because we are called to be leaders in the kingdom of God. But we are increasingly ineffective in our work and call if we seek to lead according to the standards of the world and not according to the mandates of our Savior.

Our Master has told us to lead not as the world does, but as He Himself has modeled. Leadership according to Jesus is the way of the servant.

“You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt. 20:25-26, 28).

Leadership shines brightest when the leader does what nobody else is willing to do.

It is my contention today that there will never be given a God-desired revival (of our churches) until and unless there is a resurgence of servant leadership. God cannot give us his results regarding the expansion of his kingdom if we continue to utilize the attitudes and methodologies of our (Western) culture more than we utilize the attitudes and methodologies of Christ.

There will never be given a God-desired revival (of our churches) if secular standards of success continue to overshadow biblical ones.

Discussion Questions:

On your social media, share an answer to one of these questions with the link to this blog post. Or leave a comment below. 

  • Define in your own words “servant leadership” after reading this blog and share how you can personally grow as a servant leader next year.
  • What practical steps can you take to practice servant leadership in daily ministry?
  • What motivates you as a pastor, missionary, or church leader?
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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Rick Calenberg says:

    I have been preaching the need for servant leadership in Africa for 40 years. To be a Christ-like servant leader goes counterculture to the understanding of leadership in the honor-shame context of Africa. Recently the valedictorian if the Evangelical Seminary of West Africa spoke of what he had learned about servant leadership in his years as a master’s student. What stood out as the most dramatic illustration was when the President of the Seminary had apologized for an offense he had caused. The valedictorian had never seen a leader do such a thing! As the person he was referring to, I was again reminded that the only way servant leadership can be taught is in the actions of the leader. Jesus washing the disciples’feet was the lesson that impacted them most. Let’s get the bowls and towels out whenever and wherever we are trying to teach biblical servant leadership.

  • Nikole Hahn says:

    Thank you for sharing that!

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