Getting Past the Start Part 4 — The Servant Leader

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In the 1970’s a man named Robert Greenleaf coined a phrase that is often found in churches today: servant leader. He said, “The great leader is seen first as a servant, and that simple fact is the key to his greatness.” Churches have taken this idea and run with it like it’s a new fad of sorts, but of course this was the very model that Jesus gave us.

He took the first step when He stepped down from His heavenly throne and rightful place of honor and glory and became human. He walked among the “least” and made friends with those who had been shunned and abandoned by society. Our calling as His followers is no different. “If we want to be successful in achieving all of the greatness that God has planned for us, we must first humble ourselves and serve others.” (p. 106)

I feel that all of our good intentions are actually inhibiting us from serving as Jesus did. We have our schedules and our to-do lists. We run a tight ship and that rarely leaves time for the interruptions. Those moments that give us a distinct opportunity to step outside of our little box and touch someone else’s life.

“To know Jesus is to ultimately know mercy.” (p.116)

Are we looking at people as a project that needs to be fixed or as humans who have challenging circumstances who could use a little more love and a lot less judgement. “We need to stop being so focused on the opportunities we are trying to create for others that we miss the opportunities that God has created for all of us to serve one another.” (p. 109)

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Matthew 25:35-40 reads, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (NIV)

God services (verb) us so that we can be a service (noun) to others. (p. 122-123)

Perhaps you are sitting there saying, “Yes! I want to serve but I just don’t know where to start.” Start in your own backyard. Reach out to your neighbors. Offer to help them carry in their groceries. Mow the yard of the neighbor who has been sick or bring dinner to the lady down the street who just had a baby. “The emphasis in serving shouldn’t be in what you are doing but rather the heart with which you are doing it.” (p. 125)

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3:23, NLT)

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