Servant Leadership

May 15, 2019
by Vincent Walter

John 13:13-15 – You call me "Teacher" and "Lord," and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. (NIV)

The famous preacher, Charles Price, wrote:

    We talk a lot about leadership, and rightly so, but our role is never to lead. It is to serve, and God is the one who makes leaders out of servants. If we want to know who our future leaders will be, look to those who do the menial tasks, who commit to the grind — the long hours, short nights, and the discipline of tedious, difficult work. This is where God builds His leaders from.

Recently, I took a book from my bookcase entitled Servant Leadership, a journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. It was published in 1977 by Robert K. Greenleaf, a prominent American business executive. It was given to me in 1982 by the President of Youth for Christ Canada during the time when it was my privilege to be the chairman of the Board of Directors. While the book is written from a commercial aspect, it endeavours to show how true leadership differs from power and authority.

It is interesting to see how the teachings of Jesus continue to be the better way in all aspects of life.

Matthew 16:25 – For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. (NIV)

Some time ago, I had a discussion with the President of Rotary International. He was the founder of a very successful accounting firm, and we were discussing return on investment. The normal hope, when we invest, is that we will receive at least as much back as we put in. But that doesn't always happen. We agreed, however, that when we invest time and money in worthwhile projects to help others, the return always far exceeds the investment.

It is often challenging to work at continuing to be godly servants, but the Bible has many passages with advice as to the kind of character that we need to develop:

Galatians 6:9 – Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV)

2 Timothy 1:7 – For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (NIV)

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)

1 Peter 3:8 – Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. (NIV)

Prayer: Dear Father, we realize that it is so easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be the leader — to be first. Help us to realize that true leaders are servants first. May we always follow the example given to us by Jesus and be willing to wash the feet of others. In His name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good advice, Vincent.


    Wonderful message.
    Thank you.


    Amen. That we’d look like Jesus!
    Blessings on your day.


    Your devotional today was a blessing!
    Thank you.


    Thank you for the needed reminder Vincent. Blessings.


    Thanks, Vincent for continuing to write what you believe today.


    Thanks, Vincent, for this encouragement and for another insight into your life.


    Thank you, Vincent, very appropriate, this is he model all leaders should follow, Jesus, who better?
    Blessings.


    Good Morning Vince
    This was interesting and encouraging. Thank you so much for this devotional.
    God bless.


    Thank you, Vincent, for your submission of today’s devotion.
    It brings many thoughts of what we need to recognize in our life to be meaningful to others.


    Greetings Vince,
    Thank you for another of your very good devotional writings. Yes, we certainly need to follow the footsteps of Jesus and His example of being a true and faithful servant.
    Blessings,
    (B.C.)


    Thank you, Vincent, for your devotional. This comes with perfect timing for a new chapter that God is leading me in. The additional scriptures are also very much appreciated! God bless!


    Great post and insight, Vincent. If more leaders considered their work a vocation and were willing to do the work to help and improve the world instead of how to advance themselves, it would be a much better place. God bless you.


    Dear Vince,
    Well said! A good reminder of living our faith from God’s perspective, keeping our eyes on Jesus.
    Thank you.
    (BC)

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