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Serving as Second: The 3 Foundations of Servant Leadership

Following the Ultimate Servant

By Bruce Witt

As a leader, do you ever feel the “pressure to perform” in front of your team or group? To have all of the answers? To be the dynamic front-runner? Here’s the good news.

Our one true leader, Jesus Christ, led by serving in love and humility (Mark 10:45), and it seems contrary to the perceived strong leaders that we emulate in western culture. This points leads to the 2nd One Leader Foundational Principle of servant leadership that we share with people around the globe –

“Leaders serve as second.”

The Heart: Serve as Second

Re-focusing our leadership to serve others is an inward transformation, and it works outward to others fulfilling God’s purposes. There are three primary attributes that support this proven principle –

1. Character

Character models humility, integrity, obedience and maturity, and it does the right thing. Christ’s leadership is doing God’s will and not ours by dying to self and obeying. As we embrace difficulties and struggles in our day-to-day work, it molds us resulting in humility, which builds bridges of trust (James 1:2-4). Character is above reproach, just, temperate, gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money, devout, and full of integrity, grace, and respect.

2. Community

Servant leadership in the context of community values others, and it serves people not tasks (Luke 22:26). The Bible says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) We need each other in our weaknesses and strengths, and it creates environments of safety and trust while diligently resolving differences and conflicts.

3. Calling

Servant leadership actively engages in God’s calling and purpose. The Bible that, “We are to know the hope of our calling.” (Eph 1:18) Purpose gives our leadership direction, priorities, and hope, and it’s not defined by a position or organization. It comes from Him and is lived where He places us by pursuing the eternal and using our spiritual gifts.

Choosing Servanthood

So, choose servanthood in life and work, because it ultimately will make the greatest impact on others more than anything else. Be encouraged that Christ has already set the example—you can do it, too!



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