Jesus is undoubtably the greatest leader to ever live. He modeled what true leadership looks like. Jesus wasn’t driven by what he could get from his followers but by what he could give to his followers.
Jesus modeled how important it is for leaders to be willing to serve…not be served. The Apostle John writes, “So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet.”
Like Jesus, the best leaders aspire to serve others…not themselves. They follow Jesus’ example by:
- Putting others ahead of themselves. Servant leaders put aside their own agenda for the sake of their team. They show care and concern for those they lead.
- Having the courage to serve. Regardless of their title and position, servant leaders are willing to step out of their comfort zone in an effort to serve others. Oswald Sanders wrote, “The true leader regards the welfare of others rather than his own comfort and prestige as of primary concern.”
- Initiating service to others. Servant leaders don’t wait around for someone else to grab a towel and serve; they go first. By setting an example of service, the servant leader understands that it is not about the leader, but about others.
- Possessing an attitude of servanthood. Servant leaders have a humble attitude and serve a higher purpose. The attitude of servant leadership is found in Philippians 2:3-5. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in the very nature God, …made himself nothing , taking the very nature of a servant.”
- Being motivated by love. A servant leader loves people, and want to help them which gives him meaning and satisfaction in life. The mission is to identify and meet the needs of others. A servant leaders motivation comes from the fact that he truly loves his team.
The degree to which you can influence and lead people depends on the depth of your concern for them and your willingness to serve them. That is why leaders must be willing to serve.