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“The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be
humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted…” (Matthew 23:11-12).

Servant leadership is a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better society and ultimately creates a more just and caring world. A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the top. Servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Servant leadership isn’t about positions and titles. Instead, it is an attitude that says people and relationships are more important, valuable and essential to mission success.

We often talk about “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”(Philippians 2:3) Jesus Christ set a perfect example, throughout His life, of obeying this principle. Notice that just after commanding Christians to esteem others better than themselves, Paul said, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”(Philippians 2:5) Time and again Christ exemplified an attitude of service toward all within His reach. God’s desire is for us to lose our sense of self-centeredness and replace it with an attitude of outgoing concern for all — an attitude of wanting to see them grow, advance and prosper. As we yield to God and His Holy Spirit, a miraculous change will occur in our lives. We will take on a new heart, nature and outlook. We will become kinder, more thoughtful and compassionate. We’ll find that serving others will become a sheer joy and delight.

Moreover, this new disposition will become a daily habit — a spontaneous way of life. For the servant-leader this isn’t a sense of duty, it is an imperative embedded in their body system; they genuinely care about others and know that mission success absolutely depends on individual successes of those around them. “True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not to enrich the leader.” No matter what capacity you serve in your success isn’t defined by how much you personally achieve but on how much those you influence achieve. If you want to learn leadership, go to the greatest Book on leadership ever written—the Bible. The leadership lessons we can glean
from the Bible are ageless wisdom that transcends time from the Garden of Eden to the present.

He set a perfect example as a servant leader, throughout His life; His goal was not status or popularity. In fact, as strange as it sounds today, he actively discouraged publicity. On more than one occasion, after performing a great miracle, he told those who witnessed it, “Tell no one what you have seen” (see e.g., Matthew 8:4; 16:20; 17:9; Mark 7:36; 8:30; 9:9; Luke 5:14; and 8:56). He was a publicist’s nightmare. Jesus submitted his own life to sacrificial service under the will of God (Luke 22:42), and he sacrificed his life freely out of service for others (John 10:30). He came to serve (Matthew 20:28) although he was God’s son and was thus more powerful than any other leader in the world. He healed the sick (Mark 7:31-37), drove out demons (Mark 5:1-20), was recognized as Master Teacher and Lord (John 13:13), and had power over the wind and the sea and even over death (Mark 4:35-41; Matthew 9:18-26).

Jesus Christ is the most powerful leader of all time; no matter what you believe about him, it is most amazing to see that even after 2,000 years after he lived, the message he tasked his disciples to preach to the world is still the most impacting phenomenon. Jesus is the most influential life ever lived on this planet.

Jesus always led by example in everything that he told his disciples to do. Whatever he expected them to do; he always showed them how to do it first. In today’s world, many leaders expect their subordinates to perform tasks which they themselves are incapable of doing. This destroys their credibility and causes them to lose the respect from their followers. No one can define with words about the Lord Jesus’ exceptional leadership style, there are countless leadership lessons we can learn from him, Regardless of your religious affiliation, even the most reasonable person understands that more books have been written, songs sang, pictures painted, and thoughts discussed about Jesus than anyone else in human history. Jesus demonstrated so perfectly the attributes and skills of a perfect Leader. These same skills and qualities are important for us all if we wish to succeed as leaders in any lasting way.

Regardless of our achievement to date in our present leadership status, we can still be more successful, we can still improve and have positive lasting legacy. We can impact more lives if we adopt servant leadership approach.

Your brother, friend, Pastor & Archdeacon
‘Seyi Pirisola.