Jesus’ leadership example is servant-leadership. He “came not to be served but to serve” (Mat. 20:28). In any organization, people are the greatest resource or asset. They are more important than money or raw material. Relationships are vital in leadership because they foster familiarity and comfort with the leader’s role. When you are simply an example to other people, you are a leader. When you seek to influence a person for God’s glory you are as much a leader as any person could be.
Another aspect of servant-leadership is the gentle nature of a servant that follows his humility. Paul puts it best that “the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men… (2 Tim. 2:24 KJV). The word for ‘strive’ in this text is machomai and means to fight, to quarrel, dispute, or strive and the word ‘gentle’ means equitable, fair, moderate, forbearing, not insisting on the letter of the law; it expresses that considerateness that looks humanely and reasonably at the facts of a case. The church needs gentle leaders. We should point out the difference between a quarrel and a discussion–it can simply be the level or tone of the voice, or a subtlety gesture like pointing a finger. Quarrels are never a benefit to anyone.
It is not a leader’s or your duty to change a person’s mind; it is your duty to be kind and instruct a person. Like Paul said in 2 Tim. 2, the changing of a person’s mind is dependent on that person and God. Any change of heart or mind will be a product of God and not you. In the realm of servant-leadership, this shows the necessity in accepting the limit of authority a person may have. Our role is to influence and guide a person without the ability to command with authority. A servant-leader accepts God’s role in leading people, notably that the servant-leader cannot perform God’s role in transforming the mind and heart.
For God to lead it requires human work, but too much human work and God’s role is reduced and his power is not fully utilized. To minimize the human instrument and maximize the role of God in leadership, the human leader must be completely focused on doing God’s will and completely devoted to humbling himself beneath God. Servant-leadership minimizes human interventions and maximizes God’s intervention. A servant-leader leads God’s people by being led by God. Servanthood is being inalienable possessed by God, unqualified at the disposal of God, unquestionably obedient to God, constantly in the service of God.
Servant-leadership is humble sacrificial slavery to people who are in need.” A great love for God and love for brethren is the great motivation for people to willingly accept slavery in the name of leadership. Those desiring greatness before the Lord will debase themselves in service to others and deny themselves to fulfill their needs. Mediocre leadership is beneath those with a greater-than-mediocre love for the Lord. Those who aspire to glorify God will abandon their pride to become a servant-leader who serves the Lord by leading and leads the Lord’s people by serving.