Matthew 20:26-27 (NLT)
26b “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant,
27 And whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.”
Here Jesus tells us how to become a leader. The attitude of a true leader has two components: serving and slaving. At first, the phrase “serving and slaving” seems a little negative, but here’s what it means: Am I willing to serve people by becoming a slave to personal growth so I can increase my value? The word “slave” refers to the price you have to pay for leadership greatness. Jesus was in effect saying that the purpose of your life is to become the leader God created you to be and then serve your leadership gift to others. Jesus described leadership from a new perspective: Instead of using people, we are to serve people.
Jesus went on to say in Matthew 23 verses 11 and 12: “The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Jesus starts by saying that the secret to leadership greatness lies in serving others. We exist to serve humanity, not to be served by it. Then Jesus goes on to say that the measure of greatness in the kingdom of God is not position, power, or prestige; it is serving people in love. In other words, title and position, social status and fame, charisma and personality are not what qualify someone as a leader. On the contrary, those who lead from a position of humility (by serving others) will become successful and effective leaders. Humility equates to serving, and serving people in love is the way to become a great leader in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus gave us the simplest definition of Servant Leadership. It goes like this: To lead, you must serve. A leader in the Kingdom of God is to be a servant to the people, and the way to serve more people is to increase your value so more people want what you have to offer. Jesus was saying to his disciples that the greatest leader among you is the person who serves the most people.
There are two aspects to servant leadership: personal and corporate. Personal servant leadership includes discovering your unique gifts and talents and then serving them to the world for the benefit of others. The more you become a person whose gifts and talents are valued, the greater your influence will be. The greater your service and value to people, the more successful and effective you’ll be as a leader. This requires personal growth so you can increase your value, and the way you increase your value is by becoming excellent at what God has called you to do.
Corporate servant leadership includes serving more people with products and services that add value to their lives. The way you receive kingdom wealth is by serving more people with products and services that improve their lives. The rewards a business receives (in the form of growth and profits) are proportional to the service that business delivers both to its customers and to its community. To increase your business, simply find better ways to improve the lives of more people.
A leader in the Kingdom of God will attract wealth into his or her life because they practice servant leadership. The mindset of a great leader includes adding value to people, both personally and corporately.
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