Servant Leadership in the body of Christ.
Humility is the most attribute that people follow in the corporate world. Well Jesus is the most humble person we know. The greatest form of leadership is what Jesus gives usnwhich is servant leadership. The secular world actually now recognises servant leadership. Wikipedia definition: Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. This is different from traditional leadership where the leader’s main focus is the thriving of their company or organizations. A Servant Leader shares power, puts the needs of the employees first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.
This was God’s idea of leadership and is the complete antithesis of the traditional worldly leadership style of exalting oneself and pushing oneself forward
And whoever exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted Matthew 23:12(NKJV)
Both James and Peter pick up this teaching in their letters:
But He gives more grace. Therefore, He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6(NKJV)
Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. 1 Peter 5:6(NKJV)
If one writer comments on some teaching, it is important, but this doctrine is right through the New Testament showing that its importance is paramount.
In direct contrast, we see that satan wanted to exalt and raise himself above God and to be like Him:
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.”
Isaiah 14:12-15 (NKJV)
Godly leadership is based on love, humility and service. Jesus humbled himself and God exalted him. Jesus loved so much that that He laid His life down for the lost. Jesus served the people He ministered to constantly. In Philippians 2:6 we are told Jesus did not consider equality with God something to grasped or to be taken hold of; He humbled Himself. He was and is, not only equal to God the Father, but was the very nature of God and yet He chose to take the lower path and humbled Himself even to death in order to lead us to Salvation.
Jesus took the lowest possible path and hence now is the foundation of the church(Philippians 2:9), “Therefore God has exalted him to the highest place” and Jesus takes His place as the chief cornerstone of the Church. Now all authority in heaven and on earth the earth is His – not by Him taking it as satan offered it, but by Him humbling Himself and being obedient to the Father.
As Jesus builds His church, we are the living stones, formed and crafted by His own hands – that is our lives laid before him being mounded by the process of a life of obedience to Him.
“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.””
I Peter 2:4-6 NKJV
Paul starts a letter to the Romans by saying, “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ.” He by his own free will, chose first to be a servant and then came a time when he was called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God. The higher our calling, the lower the path we need to take.
Timothy was told by Paul that leaders in the church need not be novices, they must have a servant heart and they must not seek to be exalted by their own hand.
“not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.”
I Timothy 3:6 NKJV
In Acts 6 we see how this principle is worked out in practice when the apostles appointed men to serve. God used them to serve tables before sending Stephen to preach and Philip to evangelise. It is God who sets our places in church, not man. It may not appear to be that way sometimes but Godly leadership and life is built on humility and a willingness to serve others, not on exalting yourself. It is our choice and our responsibility to humble ourselves and to allow God to place us where he chooses.
In God’s Kingdom there is truly one way to lead and that is by faithfully serving others in the same way that Stephen and Philip faithfully served tables, and in your serving, not esteeming yourself more highly than you ought but in lowliest of mind(humility) consider others better than yourself:
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”
Philippians 2:3 NKJV
As a leader in the body of Christ your role is not to motivate others to serve you but to serve an example of Godly leadership by serving the Lord, and serving His people with all your heart and with great humility and teaching others to do likewise.
The Church is an expression of the Kingdom of God, the values attached to the Kingdom can only be learnt in the church. The mission field is huge and there is power in being sent from the local church.
Synagogue – to gather together.
Christians were hated by people like Nero because they were to joyful. The church is more than just meeting on a Sunday it is part of something bigger. It is about you finding your purpose in the will of God.
John 15:1 Every branch that doesnt bear fruit he prunes. It looks painful but is beneficial. Discipline does not work out of fellowship. Jesus humbled himself even to washing disciples feet. If you refuse to be washed you do not have fellowship with Jesus.
Christ taught the disciples how to serve one another. John called himself the other disciple – he was humble and always put others first as he wrote his book. Matthew the tax collector and Simon the zealot were taught to love one another even though they had previously belonged to enemy groups.
The culture of the Kingdom is that of serving one another. The ecclesia is the place where You are pushed to grow. It is the place where you are equipped. Where you grow in maturity.
Always encourage each other, find ways to serve.