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By Clint Kreitner

Many years ago I became acquainted with a body of secular literature on the topic of Servant Leadership. I have been struck by how deeply rooted its tenets are in scripture. Its overarching theme is expressed in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others.” Below are some checkpoints to guide us as we seek to let the Holy Spirit manifest this quality of “otherness” in our church family.
Servant Leadership

  • A deep respect for human beings as the primary focus of God’s creation
  • A strong belief in the potential of the people around you
  • Acceptance of others apart from their performance or their divergent views
  • A view of life as a journey of learning through discovery for yourself and others
  • The joy of sharing that journey with people who are special to you and helping them succeed
  • Acknowledgement that failure is often essential to learning
  • The conviction that leadership is a spiritual endeavor requiring you to make a clear choice between pursuit of self-interest or serving others
  • A willingness to serve as facilitator of a Spirit-led process that leads the Body to unified conclusions on various topics, including conclusions differing from what you initially preferred or expected
  • The ability to envision what could be versus what is and be able to articulate it vividly—dreams hope is what inspires people
  • Remain in touch with what you want to be remembered for when your life is over
  • A healthy respect for risk, but a refusal to be intimidated or paralyzed by it
  • A willingness to be vulnerable, especially to the performance of others on whom you depend who are learning and growing
  • Acknowledgement of your own capacity for misjudgment and error
  • A commitment to any and all subjects being discussable
  • A commitment to earning the respect and trust of others before asking them to follow you. Such trust is based on their perception of your integrity and commitment to their well-being. If you use people to advance your own interests, they will neither trust nor follow you
  • A personal commitment to a continual and honest assessment of whether the people you are leading are following you, and make changes as necessary.