“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (NLT)
Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus came to the earth, lived for 33 years, died, rose again and in that amount of life span He radically changed the world! Have you ever wondered how He did it? How did Jesus lead that led to such massive, world-wide revival for thousands of years? I think Mark 10 gives us insight into what it looks like to be a world changing leader and it is the type of leadership that Jesus modeled - servant leadership.
For 33 years, Jesus learned and walked out a leadership that did not exist to be served but to serve. And now, thousands of years later, millions of believers are still talking around the world about the life Jesus lived. That’s some incredible leadership. Today, I want to share with you 3 simple principles that all of us can do to be better servant leaders!
1. Get In Position
Philippians 2 tells us that when Jesus came to earth, “He took the humble position of a slave.” Servant leadership is all about position! The positions that we take in life, in our jobs, in our relationships, are directly related to where we are serving. Often in life we are taught to position ourselves for the spotlight, to be recognized and to build our name, but Jesus modeled a much different approach. Rather than coming down from Heaven on a streak of lighting with a loud and boisterous entrance, He came through a humble birth in a manger. All throughout His life, He maintained a humble position in the way He loved, spoke and cared for people.
So, in our lives, what position are we in? Do we always have to be first, recognized and noticed? Can we be content with not having the spotlight and knowing that life is not about us but about honoring and living for the Lord? On your job, are you always trying to show off your position to your boss or your co-workers? Trying to prove your value and to show how amazing you are? Can we learn to put ourselves in the position of a servant and, instead of building our name, can we go out of our way to help build the name of another?
2. Focus On The Person
Galatians 5:13 tells us to “serve one another in love.” Servant leadership is all about people. In fact, a life well lived is a life that focuses on people. Living in a fast-paced, competitive culture, it can be very easy to learn how to use people as a means to an end. It can be very tempting to try to use people as stepping stones in our life, but people are not a means to an end, people are the end! Jesus modeled this most when He was here. Jesus never used people, walked over people, looked past people or pushed aside people. Jesus always engaged with people and loved them for who they are.
So, in our lives, how have we been treating people? How have we been treating our friends, our neighbors, our spouse, our children, our parents, our relatives or even our enemies? Have we been focusing on the person you are with or have you been looking over their shoulder for someone better to talk to? Have we been loving people like Jesus did?
3. Refuse A Heart Of Pride
1 Peter 5:6 says, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.” It's been a theme throughout this devo, but the ultimate way to be a servant leader is to daily refuse a heart of pride. Pride is one of the most deceitful, destructive and damaging enemies in our lives. Pride puffs us up so high until it has us in a position where it can take us down. Jesus chose the humble route when He went to the cross on our behalf and took on Himself the pain we deserved. Great servant leaders have mastered how to be humble and selfless while also leading with power and passion.
So, in our lives, how has our pride level been? Have we been making life about us, puffing ourselves up and walking with a heart of pride? Have we been rejecting counsel, pushing people away and not allowing others to have a voice in our lives? Have we been building our name or have we been building the name of Jesus?
This past week I got engaged to the most beautiful, incredible and sweet girl in the world - Alexa Lynne Wolfe. She is my dream! As we prepare for a wedding and future marriage together, God has been challenging me big time in how well I lead our relationship by serving. I know I have a long way to go! Today, it is my prayer that one of these basic principles would challenge you as much as they have me and will help us all to adopt the character and position of Jesus Christ!
Say It: “Father God, thank you so much for the great role model we have in Jesus. I want to grow in being a servant leader. Help me today to get in a servant's position, focus on the people in my life and refuse a heart of pride. Thank you that by your grace I can be the leader that I am called to be! In Jesus Name, Amen!”