The Leader Needed Today (Part Two)

Part One: Entitlement and Trust

Part Two (Today): Servanthood

We see how servant leaders lead by sacrificing their desires, by giving up the entitlement they often deserve, and by establishing trust with those they are serving. But, the first step needed in this process is becoming a servant leader. This is an especially poignant question for emerging leaders and those leaders who prefer to lead with authoritarianism.

Even more important when thinking about the process of becoming a servant leader, is to consider what being a servant leader looks like in today’s culture.

Andres Martins has something incredibly insightful to say on this: “Leadership is changing and approaches focusing on flexibility, collaboration, crossing boundaries and collective leadership are expected to become a high priority.”

Roy Lessin also summarizes servant leadership perfectly:

“A Godly Leader finds strength by realizing his weakness, finds authority by being under authority, finds direction by laying down his own plans, finds vision by seeing the needs of others, finds credibility by being an example, finds loyalty by expressing compassion, finds honor by being faithful, finds greatness by being a servant.”

Despite popular opinion, I believe servant leadership in today’s world will look different at each position of leadership. There is no “one-size-fits-all” formula for becoming a servant leader in a current or future place of leadership.

Isaiah 53 provides a perfect picture of the type of leaders we are called to be, through its references to the “suffering servant.” Verse 3 states that, “he was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.”

The Jews of Jesus’ day were looking for a Messiah who would take away their long-suffering and bring earthly dominance back to their people. Yet here is a text that speaks of Jesus as a man who suffered and who came to earth to sacrifice himself. Looking at how Jesus spoke of himself during his earthly ministry this is quite evident. “Even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

What would happen if every person in a leadership position started leading with Mark 10:45 in mind?

I would venture to say that much would change in the way our relationships, businesses, and organizations function.