Servant Leadership - Serving Him In All You Do
"Servant leadership" has become a popular buzzword in executive circles. Jesus established this biblical principle with his twelve apostles in response to their concern about who would be the greatest -- He explained that the greatest is "servant of all" (Matthew 23:11).
Jesus gave this a different twist when he taught about the judgment day. In Matthew 25:34-40, He explained that those who are granted entry into His kingdom will be commended "for I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was imprisoned, and you came to Me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, "When did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? ...Jesus responded "truly I say to you, to the extent you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me. "
In other words, for a Christian executive, Servant Leadership has a deeper meaning than the world's understanding -- it doesn't simply mean that we are servants -- but it also means that as we serve we are not merely serving men and women, we are serving Jesus Himself.
Servant Leadership - Exalting Him Above All Else
Servant leadership is leading for His glory and not our own. Paul exhorted us, "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). Jesus instructed us to let His light in us "shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify the Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). God wants His name to be glorified (not the name of the Christian executive) in all the earth through His works of love and power accomplished through His children!
Servant Leadership - A Requirement of Accountability
Whether we like it or not, servant leadership requires accountability. In Ephesians 4:15, Paul explains how the Body of Christ matures when its members "speak the truth in love" to one another. Then, in the next chapter, Paul exhorts us to be imitators of God by walking in love, putting aside immorality, learning what is pleasing to the Lord, being careful how we walk, understanding the Lord, and giving thanks for all things. In the final chapter, he closes the teaching with a key for doing this -- "be subject to one another in the fear of Christ." John adds, "if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
In other words, each member of the Body of Christ has the responsibility to: (a) "walk in the light" (be vulnerable and keep nothing hidden in the darkness); (b) be held accountable for his or her walk with Christ; and (c) hold others accountable to their walk with Christ. We should walk openly, speak the truth in love humbly, and receive such love eagerly. Thus, to practice the discipline of accountability, a Christian executive should be in deep relationship with a group of men or women: (1) with whom he or she walks openly and vulnerably (1 John 1:7); (2) from whom he or she can receive correction (the faithful wounds of a friend -- Proverbs 27:6), which are truth spoken in love (Ephesians 4:15); (3) to whom he or she can confess his or her sins (1 John 1:9); and (4) from whom he or she can seek counsel (Proverbs 27:9).
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