Does is sound foreign to you for a leader to be a servant? I think probably in most cultures this seems like an odd thing to do. If I am the leader then I should be dictating what happens and making sure everyone is doing what he or she are supposed to. Well yes, that is true, but I believe it involves so much more than just being a dictator and ordering people around.
Matthew 20:25-28 – Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Servant Leadership is about a man humbling himself to put the needs of those above his own. Are you a husband, it’s your wife and kids. If you’re a supervisor or manager it’s your employees. I want to make sure that those I am put in charge of have their needs met first and that I authentically show them I care about them. This may mean I have to humble myself and do things I don’t really want to do, but because I am committed to being real and authentic I suck it up and do it. There’s an old saying that “more is caught then taught”. I believe this is true and in so many areas of life. As a parent kids see so much of what we do and often it’s the things we don’t want them picking up that they end of doing. It’s a very sad look in the mirror.
I believe when you start losing sight of this, you become a dictator who barks orders and forgets about putting others before yourself. You essentially want your own way and use people to get that accomplished. I don’t see how this demonstrates to others you’re genuinely concerned about them. We’ve all seen dictators and can probably a few quickly come to mind that we have had in positions of leadership in our own life. It’s never any fun to work with someone like this, because his or her number one concern is “I” and how “I” get ahead and use whatever means it takes to accomplish this.
Philippians 2:3-8 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
As a man who wants to be real and authentic across the board (wife, kids, employees, friends), I try extremely hard to put the needs of other ahead of me and make sure they are taken care of first. It can be as simple as letting others go before me when eating a meal together, taking out my trash at work or listening to what everyone else has to say before I share my own thoughts and ideas. As a supervisor at work I never ask anyone to do something I wouldn’t do myself. There have been many times I have rolled up my sleeves and cleaned or did some task along my staff or even by myself to show this.
In the last year with the economy the way it is. I have been disheartened to hear how big corporations use luxuries for themselves and make sure they get large bonuses and tax breaks. To me these folks clearly have their own agenda and have no concern for anyone else. Why would I want to work for you or your company, unfortunately also with the way our economy is, some folks have no choice but to continue working for a company that continues in this way just to survive.
Even at home, while I am the leader of my home and family, I still continually demonstrate this to my wife and kids. There are plenty of times I don’t do a good job at it, I just fail and act selfish. It is my top priority that my wife and kids know they are extremely valued, cared for and loved. I am constantly thinking about ways to show them through all that I do that their needs are important and find ways of meeting them before I take time out for myself. Most of the time kids are focused only on themselves and think little of others. I continue to impress upon my kids the importance of putting others before themselves. In this “me focused” society, I want them to know they are not the center of the world. While they are valued and important there is more important things then them just always having their own way. Really it’s no different for me or anyone else. If people are valuable, which they are, then put them first and you will be surprised the rewards you reap from living a life of serving others. This doesn’t mean that sometimes we don’t need to take a break and get recharged, but always thinking others are more important than myself, I have found in my experience it makes my relationships with others so sweetie-fresh.
1 Timothy 3:4-5 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)
How do you do at serving others?