The Key to Servant leadership: Mark 10:45 – For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
I was born to lead… I do it naturally and with little effort. My natural inclination is to serve and please others… but I struggle when I feel like my service is unappreciated and this I am sure is a challenge for many men. So what do you do? where do you look for the perfect example of servant leadership? Jesus, of course, was the perfect servant leader. Let’s take a look at Mark 10:45
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but TO serve, and give His life as ransom for many.”
It is interesting to think about Jesus glorifying himself by serving us. This is what makes Christianity different from every other religion. He does not need us to serve him. He did not take human form and come here for us to serve him… he chose to serve us. Jesus does not need our help he is all knowing and all powerful. What he needs from us is for us to follow his example and serve others so that he may through our discipline show us how he will serve us by easing our burdens and helping us endure suffering or allowing us to experience great joy.
How to be a Great Servant Leader
in Mark 10:43-44 Jesus said:
Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave…
What I am reading here is that as a leader (At home, work, or church) if you want to be taken seriously it is important that you seek first to serve others. It is only then that they will be receptive to following me and offering the respect I sometimes demand but may or may not deserve. Putting others before yourself is an important Christ-like behavior, however, it is also important to avoid co-dependent behavior. The balance between taking care of yourself and serving others is occasionally difficult for some to find, but with practice, it will become natural.
Placing your own wants and needs behind those you serve allows you to show yourself as humble and meek. Though you have power or authority to force your will it sets a good example for all if they see you put all things in Gods hands and handling every situation with honor, grace, and patience.
It is important that we ask ourselves: What is my agenda as a leader? Am I serving myself or God through service to others? It can be a struggle because self-service is attractive and true selfless service is difficult but rewarding.
Ephesians 5:1-2 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Servant leadership in the home
Nowhere is this more important than with your wife.
Ephesians 5:21-33 beautifully illustrates Instructions for Christian Households and how a man and woman are commanded to love and respect each other.
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing or having cleansed her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Women everywhere turn up their noses at Ephesians 5:22 because it commands her to submit… However, this is a far more palatable commandment when taken into context with Ephesians 5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” You see men, you can not expect your wife to submit to you until you have reached a point where you are in fact ready to submit to her first. It is a two-way street guys. You are then commanded through your mutual submission to one another to led her and help keep her on track spiritually. You are further commanded to love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. WOW! That’s a tall order… to think you are committing the willingness to die for your wife. Moreover, you are commanded to love her as much as you love your own body and the wife is commanded to respect her husband.
Leading your wife and family in general hangs on the requirement that you first submit to them, put their needs first, and do all you can to provide for their happiness. only after you have done that should you look at yourself and consider your own needs. As difficult as this sounds I found within days of making this change myself my level of happiness jumped substantially, my relationship with my wife and kids improved and I was no longer concerned with my own happiness.
The key to effective servant leadership at home, at work, at church, or in The Kingdom of God is to choose a life of servanthood. Nobody (generally) questions your true authority or ability to impose your will upon them… that is not true leadership. If you want people to respect you and be willing to “do anything” for you… then you need to be willing to live a life where you place the wants and needs of everyone around yourself ahead of your own and take care of yourself last (with healthy boundaries) to show what it means to be a “strong person” who is a humble and meek leader. Nobody is looking at you and thinking you are weak or somehow effeminate. It’s the willingness to BE humble and meek while restraining your use of power, strength or authority that shows TRUE STRENGTH.
Takeaways on Servant leadership:
- Do not act out of self-interest
- Take on a servant mindset and focus your life on filling the needs of others first
- Be humble
- Be kind
- Use wisdom and restraint in the escalation of force whether verbal or physical
Father, please help me transition from my old ways to that of a true servant leader in the model of Christ. Please help me to shift my focus from myself to others. Show me ways that I can be of greater service to others daily and give me the wisdom to recognize those opportunities. Allow me to receive joy from making others happy. Help me to remove my selfish ambitions and replace them with a drive to seek out and follow your will. Too often I place my selfish wants and desires in front of the needs of others and allow jealousy or a petty sense of “fairness’ to rule my heart and mind. Help me to wash away those thoughts and focus on fulfilling my role as a man of God. Thank you for all of the many blessings I have received in my life. I have been blessed far beyond what I deserve. Please give me the wisdom to recognize and appreciate those blessings daily, to be a good steward of what I have been given, and to through wisdom and faith in you the ability to multiply them. Thank you for teaching me restraint and patience. Spiritual growth is sometimes painful, but through faith in you, I have made tremendous gains. Finally, please give me the insight and wisdom to mentor and develop my children to be strong well rounded, obedient servants and followers of Christ. This is only possible by them following my example and me diligently, intentionally, and consistently following the one you provided me in Jesus. Father, I thank you for providing a perfect model of biblical leadership in Jesus! Finally, thank you for the knowledge and faith that no matter how challenging a situation I find myself in I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Amen.