Over the next month, each Monday, I’ll posting a brief post on the topic of “Being a Servant Leader.” In a culture where status and fame have become a priority, what a refreshing approach servant leadership is. And not only is it refreshing, but it’s biblical. In fact, Jesus even said, “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” This is the approach that followers of Christ take in leadership roles, whether in the church or outside it. Here are the 5 topics we’ll be looking at:
- An Attitude of Selflessness
- Using Your Gifts for the Benefit of Others
- Doing What’s Beneath You
- The Big Picture You’re In
- Giving Leadership Away
To start off this series, we’re going to look at “An Attitude of Selflessness.”
What I’ve found is oftentimes, the younger a leader is, the harder it can be to recognize there is a world outside themselves. This isn’t anything against young leaders, but simply that they often haven’t experienced the value of viewing the world through other’s eyes yet. But to be a follower of Christ and a servant leader it is imperative to see the world, not through selfish eyes, but through selfless eyes. This means learning how to identify the needs of those around you, and having a willingness to do something about it.
Now, that isn’t an excuse to run yourself ragged solving everyone else’s problems, but rather taking the approach of a servant rather than a ‘savior.’ We may not be able to change the whole world with one word or action, but we can change the world for that one volunteer, that one child, that one leader. When we come with an attitude to serve, we are able to change the lives of those in front of us. The collective effort of doing that very thing then becomes exponential. Viewing the needs around us with selfless eyes allows us to come to serve rather than to be served.
And as leaders, especially in the church, we aren’t called to stand on our high, lofty pedestals, but to be approachable, caring servants. Sounds kind of crazy doesn’t it? Well, it is, and it was crazy even in the first century when Jesus said, “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” This is one of core components to being a servant leader. Being a servant leaders isn’t simply about your actions, but your attitude. If you have a sense of entitlement or an expectation that others are simply there to serve you, you’ll soon find yourself without anyone left to serve. But those that are willing to take on the selfless attitude of a servant will always have people around them to lead and serve.
Here’s my challenge to you, rather than asking how can I get others to do this or that, start asking:
- How can I better serve my team?
- What sacrifices have I made for my team?
- Are my priorities focused on me and what I want, or around what is best for my team?