So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world
lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under
them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among
you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be
the slave of everyone else. 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 10:41- 45
The term servant leader defines an individual whose main goal is to lead others by
serving, through meeting their needs. As contradicting as this sounds, many companies
around the world have adopted this style of leadership. Balfour Beatty the construction
company, Marriot International the hotel company for the rich and affluent, and
Starbucks are among companies with CEOs who believe that a thriving business is
established when they invest personally and professionally in their employees.
In the gospel accounts, we find our pioneering saviour talking about and doing
something similar. He emphasied in Mark 10:41- 45 that if anyone of us wants to lead,
we must first learn to serve. Jesus continues that the ultimate act of service, which stems
from love, is to lay down your life for a friend. In the end, he demonstrated this on the
cross by dying for our sins so that we could be reconciled with God.
Unlike the companies I mentioned earlier, who may serve their employees in hopes that
they would keep working for them and increase their profits, Jesus had nothing to gain
from serving us but he still did it anyway. The type of servant leadership that he portrayed
was grounded in love of God and other people. God calls us to demonstrate this type of
leadership we see in Jesus. Whether its helping the old lady down the road with her
shopping, washing the dishes after dinner or doing other things that require using our
time and gifting to serve our family and community, we serve others not because of what
we hope to gain, but because we have been served by Jesus first. He serves us by
providing for our spiritual and physical needs so that in him we may have life to the fullest.
This should be a source of encouragement as it tells us that we have been given
everything we need to support those around us without requesting or expecting anything
There are many things that may hinder us from serving other people when we know we
won’t get anything out of it. I have listed a few of my reasons below, take some time to
Reason 1: I am sometimes hesitant of serving others because I do not want to be taken
Reason 2: I am afraid to offer my service because I have a fear of rejection.
Reason 3: Serving other people requires giving up my time and I do not have enough
time for that.
Reason 4: I am going through a lot at the moment so I need to focus on myself.
In Matt 11:28-30, Jesus commands his followers to come to him when they feel tired
(emotionally physically and spiritually) and he assures us that he can provide the rest we
need. Personally, I know some of my reasons for choosing not to serve sometimes, are
grounded in negative past experiences. Other reasons are because I may have believed
that I am my own source; that is, in order to provide support for others I have to be at my
best. Over the past few months, I have come to realise how false my beliefs were. God is
our source and this means that he provides the means for us to support those around us.
When we feel weak emotionally, physically or spiritually, we can come to him to be
refreshed and replenished. Since God is our source, the fear of rejection or being taken
for granted by humans should have no bearing on us because we know we are already
accepted and loved.
As followers of Jesus, how can we become servant leaders? Remember that in order to
serve we have to be connected to our source - God. With everything we do, we begin
with worship (1 Corinthians 10:31). Worship helps us remove the focus from self and
gives it to the one who truly deserves it. When we begin to see acts of service as worship,
it helps us not expect anything in return but instead, it stirs up humility within us (Romans
12:1). Secondly, we can become servant leaders by investing time into people. We
should prayerfully spend time with people, care for them, find out their needs and serve
them where we can. We should always check our motives for serving; remember that we
do not serve to gain anything in return. Lastly, we can ask God to make us more like
Jesus Christ who paid the ultimate price and demonstrated what true servant leadership
is all about.
Available - Elevation Worship
Instrument - Travis Greene