Sunday, September 8, 2013

#7 Servant Leaders

By Dr. Stephen Phinney

Any man who desires to become a great leader must first become a servant. This is the model that Jesus demonstrated for men. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). 

Today, most men are driven to manipulate women to serve them (primarily sexually), but also with day-to-day activities. Women have labeled our men as being selfish, ego-centered, and self-serving. I wish I could say that our women are wrong on this, but they are not. Most men have no clue what servant manhood is all about. 

How are we to know what biblical "servant manhood" looks like? We can discover the answer to this question by observing how Jesus responds to His Father. The more a man studies the role Jesus had (and has) with His Father, the more he will understand servant manhood. Jesus said, “The Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing” (John 5:19-20). As you can tell, the key here is following the Father. It always comes back to the Father. 

Men need to concentrate on their heavenly Father, their earthly father, and their spiritual father. By watching and doing what they do, men can demonstrate servant manhood. If a man does not have a “healthy” earthly or spiritual father, he is required to learn directly from the heavenly Father. The heavenly Father promises to be a Father to the fatherless (Ps. 68:5). 

Men tend to be power hungry, which is what stops them from being able to be servant leaders. Jesus was not about revealing His power. True meekness knows that you have the power to do mighty things, but don’t have the need to prove it. Patriarchy has been given a bad name because of the pride and ego of men. True patriarchs don’t need to display their authoritative power; they demonstrate it through acts of service. When men abuse their roles as leaders, the followers will ultimately choose a new leader to follow. People, men and women alike, intuitively desire to follow servant-type leaders. Jesus knew this, which is why He came in the form of a bond-servant. 

The world’s idea of leadership is to exercise authority over another by revealing one’s immovable position of power. The Bible calls this “lording it over” another. True leadership is not about a battle over the “wills.” It is about serving another for the purpose of moving that follower in the direction you have laid out before him. Serving moves hearts; and behavior always follows the heart. 

A man does not need to give up his position of authority or power in order to be a servant leader. He does need to demonstrate obedience to his leaders by serving them. This is his training ground for being a leader. A man, who demonstrates his position and power by servant influence, will discover the power of servant leadership.

NEXT: Death of Manhood

Servant Leaders Copyright © 2013 IOM America. Permission to reproduce for educational purposes. Please keep author’s name intact. 

All Scriptures, unless otherwise stated, are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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