Servant Leadership

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Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 1 Peter 5:2–3 niv

 

It’s interesting that of all the roles outside the church, God chose the shepherd to be the model of leadership within the church. When you think business titan or political leader, you probably don’t think of someone herding sheep. God’s way is different, though. He wants leaders who are ready to serve. He wants people who will not lord their leadership powers over those entrusted to their care.

Jesus, of course, was the perfect example of embracing and championing this servant leader approach.

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. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—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.”

Matthew 20:25–28 niv

Clearly Jesus is teaching a distinction between a style of leadership that is authoritative and one that is focused on serving others. You wouldn’t typically think leaders are first servers, but that’s how Jesus designed it.

 

Large Capacity Leaders

 

One of the reasons we remain small is because our theology is too small. We need a larger theology in order to enlarge our capacity. Our concept of God is, for the most part, far too small, and so we need to develop a larger concept of God. We place such limitations on Him, and we have shrunk Him down in our minds.

 

1. We also need to enlarge our capacity for people that are different to us. Why is it that we are so threatened by people that are different to us, or who do things differently to the way we do?
2. In the same way, we need to enlarge our capacity for people who do things better than we do. Why is it that those who are leading churches often struggle to bring people through who can do things better than they can?
3. Large-capacity leaders are people who can cope with change. Our ability to embrace change also impacts on the capacity we have as people and as leaders. We should ask ourselves this question: “Am I really willing to let God enlarge me?”
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