“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions.
The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.
The best test, and the most difficult to administer, is this: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?”
View Robert K. Greenleaf on Wikipedia
Ten Characteristics of the Servant-Leader by Larry Spears
Listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community.
The highest type of ruler is one whose existence the people are barely aware. When his task is accomplished and things have been completed, all the people say, ʻWe ourselves have achieved it!ʼ
View Servant Leadership on Wikipedia
The Problem: Toxic Leadership
Business: You see it in business, when narcissistic executives build golden parachutes and steal from tomorrow to make today look good.
Academia: You see it in academia when professors forget the students in their march toward self-promotion and prominence in their field.
Religion: You see it in churches where the ministerʼs name appears above the saviorʼs.
Non-Profits: You see it in charities that put growth and recognition ahead of the needs of the suffering.
Government: You see it in government when politicians promote themselves over the needs of their constituents.
The difference is between leadership, and leadership by example.
The difference to me? Some leaders talk, and some leaders do.
Perseverance defined: To persist in or remain constant to a purpose, idea, or task in the face of obstacles or discouragement.
Here’s an interesting truth – Accomplishment and success are often the result of commitment and perseverance rather than skill or talent. I know I’m more proud of myself when I know others recognize what I have done. I’ve found myself at times not being open to things that God might want to do through me. Sort of like a child staring off into space when their parents are trying to discipline them, stopping them to show them a lesson that can be learned right where they are at.
Have you heard messages from the world that might get you out of a trying situation easily? A situation that God is using to shape you to be more of who He wants you to be.
Maybe using your time in ways that please you first or that only benefit you financially. Maybe you’re mind is lured by a product or service that will hurt you financially. Alcohol and drugs aren’t the only thing that eases pain. Sometimes I don’t realize how often I am not taking steps toward growing in my relationship with God.
Are there things that have tested your faith recently?
1 Peter 1:6-7
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Have there been times when God’s timing didn’t line up with your expectations?
1 Peter 4:12-13
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Instead of going to God, what do we turn to / create / accept that helps us escape being tested? Are there things that replace who God says He is (like in the verses below)?
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Does it feel better to overcome something that is more of a struggle? Or does our faith become lukewarm, making our soul content with who we’ve been in the past?
Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
I write this article in the busiest time of the year. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The time when the world requires the most of our attention, when really it’s the time when our focus should be most on Christ. Even the calendar on my iPhone can’t keep up with my schedule. The world confuses us the most during these months, asking us to sit at a table and be thankful one month, and days later they beg us to make purchases that do anything but make us thankful.
But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me. But the Lord answered her, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.
How does being busy impact your prayer life?
Which of these two women do you relate to the most? Are you more often like Martha, and too busy to notice opportunities you have to serve Christ where you are at?
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
The “Sabbath” means literally to stop, to put an end to, to cease. What feelings or thoughts are provoked when God tells you to STOP? Is it possible to pause within the schedule / routine of your living at the moment?
1 Timothy 6:9
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
How large of a role does money play in your scheduling / rest? Are you or your family living a lifestyle that uses finances in a way that separates you from God? How are you utilizing your budget?
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!
Is the world really waiting to hear from you? Or is God doing doing the waiting? Is He trying to speak to you, and you just don’t realize it?