A significant challenge for a disciple of Jesus is to practice servant leadership. We do not have to be afraid of being a servant or being a leader. Regardless of our historical, cultural, and life experiences, Jesus is our model of a servant leader. How do we fully embrace servant leadership in every aspect of life?
The Rediscovering Servant Leadership workshop at Inspire 2019, held in Windsor, Ontario, focused on the four characteristics of servant leadership: humility, service, focus on others, and love.* Facilitator Denise Posie began the session with the CRCNA mission, emphasizing that servant leadership is the fifth component of our five-fold calling of denominational ministries and initiatives.
What is servant leadership? One helpful definition originated from our CRC Office in Canada:
"Servant Leadership has the mission of identifying, recruiting, and training leaders to be servants in the kingdom of God. The lifelong equipping of all leaders is essential for the flourishing of churches and ministries. Servant leaders put their focus on the growth of the ministries and the communities that they serve. This type of inspired leadership encourages transformation.”
Using Jesus as our model of a servant first and then a leader, small groups explored Matthew 20:25-28 and John 13. Perhaps your church or ministry might consider using these passages in a small group setting to see what you discover about servant leadership.
One emerging leader shared a takeaway. The workshop helped link servant and leader. At times, they seem conflicting, but they are not. Both are significant and demonstrated by Jesus. We do not have to prove and legitimize ourselves. Today’s society teaches us to focus on self. Sometimes we focus too much on our gifts and experiences. “I was impressed to focus on others. It was liberating!”
*A Snapshot of a Servant Leader by Aubrey Malphurs, Being Leaders, Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2003. Used by permission.