Summary: What should come to our mind when we think of servant leaders?
One of the songs we sang today is “Make Me a Servant.” I pray that that is our prayer. “Lord, make me a servant today.” Last time I preached, we saw that serving is a high calling. We are to lead different from this world. Jesus told us that, though the world seeks power leadership, we are to seek servant-leadership. “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant”. We are to serve in order to lead. We lead by serving. We are called to be servant-leaders.
Now what does a servant-leader look like? What should come to our mind when we think of servant-leaders? I believe there are at least seven habits or practices of a highly effective servant leader. I came up with these seven habits when I sought to identify what qualities should be seen in a member of our church. There are so many qualities mentioned in the Bible. We have to admit we can’t develop all of them in our lives. We can get so overwhelmed we don’t even know where to start. When the core of the English Worship came up with our mission statement, we also came up with seven key result areas so we can measure how we are fulfilling our mission. These key result areas gave us ideas on what qualities we want to develop in a member of Makati Gospel Church. Based on those key result areas, I came up with the acrostic S-E-R-V-A-N-T. As we go through each habit, let us rate ourselves 1 to 10, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.
The first habit is SERVES the Lord. We see here a person who serves the needs of others with all his heart. Philippians 2:4 describes this person: “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” He makes the most of his time, talents and treasures in serving the Lord through serving others.
When we talk about serving the Lord, we are talking about “full-time” service. But I am not just talking about resigning from your present job and becoming a pastor. If that’s the leading of the Lord for you, fine. But that’s not what I am talking about. I believe all of us are called to “full-time” service because we are all “full-time” Christians in our present spheres of influence, where we are right now. Colossians 3:23 command us, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men”. Note the word “whatever.” Whether you are a CEO, a manager, a supervisor, or one of the employees, you serve the Lord by excelling in your work. I was sad when a businessman-friend told me he had to fire a Christian because he was not performing well. In fact, he even told me that it seems it is not a guarantee that you can trust a person to do his job well just because he is a believer. That should change. It is my dream that you would even receive a model employee of the year award. So, rate yourselves 1 to 10 on this habit.
The second habit is EMPOWERS others. We see here a person who intentionally helps others to grow in their faith to the point that they would build others also. 2 Timothy 2:2 tells us, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” In the corporate world, this is called “mentoring” or “coaching.” Of course, before you can mentor somebody, you have to find a mentor yourself. A mentor is basically a trusted friend or counselor who is usually one who has more experience. In a company, a newcomer is paired with a more experienced employee to set an example to him and give advice as needed as he moves up the corporate ladder.
We need to find godly, more experienced people who would help us grow spiritually. Titus 2:3 to 5 give us an example: “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Mentors keep us accountable and challenge us to go beyond ourselves. I have my mentors like Rev. Philip Tarroja and Rev. Clem Guillermo who helped me a lot in my ministry as a pastor. Now you don’t have to be way ahead before you mentor somebody. You just have to be a step ahead. You don’t even have to be older than the person you are mentoring. We can also have peer-to-peer mentoring. Is there such a person in your life? Other than rating yourself 1 to 10, do you already have a mentor? If you don’t have one, find one. If you think you already can, do you have somebody to mentor? I personally mentor some people inside and even outside the church in preaching.