Archives For servant leadership

Often, when I hear people talk of leading others it is about the perks of being a leader. However, there are a few things about leadership to remember:

  1. It’s not about you
  2. Others are more important than your comfort
  3. It is about sacrifice
  4. It is about courage in the face of adversity
  5. It is about humility in the face of success
  6. It is about serving others, seeking their good before you seek your own

One thing bears repeating – It is not about you!

BG

what is your viewpoint?

January 3, 2016

What is your viewpoint – about people? How do you “see” others?Keely's flower

Do you see others, especially those you lead, as obstacles, means to an end, headcount, staff, or as people with unique qualities, needs, desires, fears, and personalities?

Do you choose to trust people’s intent or do they have to “earn” your trust?

Quite often, I have viewed others either as obstacles to getting my job done or as a means to get the job done all the while forgetting the fact I was working with wonderfully created, fascinating, imperfect, frustrating, inspiring, and very diverse people with wonderful stories – if I would have just listened and appreciated them.

Three passages from the Bible now guide, most of the time, how I view others:

1. First and foremost: Genesis 1:27 (ESV)

“So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.”

This verse reminds us that when we interact with a person, we are dealing with someone very special to God and that was created in His image. This is not something to take lightly!

2. Secondly, Micah 6:8 (ESV)

“He has told you, O man, what is good;

and what does the LORD require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God?”

The key reminders for us contained in this passage are to walk humbly, and then to not only do justice to others, but to be kind to them and, again, especially to those we are privileged to lead.

3. Thirdly is 1 Peter 5:2-3 (ESV)

“. . . shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.’

This passage is a reminder to be a shepherd and not a “boss”. It reminds us to check our motives as we lead others. The passage reminds us to be examples to those we lead. The other thing that strikes me about this passage is how we are to be shepherds. Shepherds of that time were not “rock stars”, but simple and lowly men who were given stewardship over the flocks of other men. Theirs was a lonely life as they nurtured and protected their flocks, oftentimes at great risk and cost to their own lives. They received little reward from society at large. This passage is a reminder to not to make so much of “leadership”, but to learn to shepherd our “flock” on behalf of God and others so that the “flock” may thrive and not for our own glory.

So what is your viewpoint? How do you “see” and lead others?

BG

Pastor Bobby Moore was a man who greatly impacted others by the way he lived his life.  He was a living testimony.  He was also a highly effective leader.  A while back I shared a few of his leadership lessons – click here to read those.  Here now are a few more for you:

  1. Being a shepherd is more important than being an administrator.
  2. The attitude, spirit, and lifestyle I long to see in others must first be in me.
  3. My most important ministry is in my heart and my home.
  4. Be teachable . . . be a learner. Have a teachable spirit. Don’t be a know-it-all, and don’t let pride cause you to fall.

Some wise guidance from a man who lived them out daily.

BG

Respect for and submission to authority – a good thing. Right?  Being in ministry we understand the biblical basis for authority and our responsibilities to the authorities God has placed in our lives. But could there be such a thing as too much of a good thing?

In the past, too often what I termed respect for my authorities was really an unhealthy deference that was based in the “fear of man”.  I would agree with my authority or not deliver bad news and especially not correct him when he was clearly wrong.  I rationalized that as “respecting my authority” when all it was, was old fashioned “fear of man” which is not biblical.

That kind of thinking is dangerous for our authorities and for our organizations.  Leaders need the loving candid feedback of their subordinate leaders.  Respect for and submission to our authorities does not mean not challenging them, it does not mean assuming they always know best, it does not mean agreeing with them externally while alarms are going off internally – it means giving them your best input – even when you know they won’t like what you have to say. It means that you care for them enough as a brother or sister in Christ that you will say what they need to hear even at the risk of your relationship.

Fortunately, I work for a man that is easily entreatable.  He often asks what his blind spots are and asks his leadership team to challenge him. Even with his openness and seeking of input, sometimes it is hard to challenge him.  That is my problem – not his.  So as leaders, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that we are very approachable, that we create an atmosphere that invites and even requires feedback to us on our performance and behavior that is lovingly brutal.  This is hard to cultivate, but we must encourage and receive honest feedback from those we lead of we will find ourselves and our organizations headed for trouble.

Have a blessed day serving our Lord,
BG

Reading an interesting book called Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf.  Mr. Greenleaf insists that it should be the church’s role to develop and nurture the leaders (trustees) for other key institutions in the nation.

Following are some of his quotes that I thought you might find interesting.

“. . . we are not doing well enough as a society. The churches are judged inadequate, along with the others [institutions]. In some ways the churches may be judged more harshly than the others because their role could be so pivotal in the regeneration of what many consider a sick society.” (p. 93)

“. . . The church was the dominant influence [in the past] in people’s lives, and it shaped and sustained the influence of the home. Now both the work environment and the school far outrank the church in influence . . . “(p. 93)

(new opportunities for churches)  “One of these will be to become the chief nurturing force, conceptualizer of the opportunity, value shaper, and morale sustainer of leadership everywhere – in business, school, government, health and social service, philanthropy – everywhere.” (p. 94)

“But the dynamics of leadership – the vision, the values, and the staying power – are essentially religious concerns, and fostering them should become the central mission of the growing edge churches. Where else can it be done?” (p. 94)

“If some of the churches do not accept the opportunity to build leadership strength for other institutions that have greater value-shaping influence on individuals than the churches now have directly, how will churches do their work?” (p. 94)

“. . . the second task is to make of the church a powerful force to build leadership strength in those persons who have the opportunity to lead in other institutions and to give them constant support.”      (p. 95)

“I believe that the churches are in the best position to become the prime moving force to produce the trustees [of institutions] who will bring these changes about and to sustain them at a high level of trust.” (p. 96)

“It is the role of the church to sanction trustees – to say who is capable of, and prepared for trust. Individuals do not assert this for themselves.” (NOTE: here he is talking about trustees for any institution – not just the church)

“If the . . . church . . . can build its competence as a nurturer of trustees, and if it will frame its work in a context of values that elicits trust in the church for this vocation, the help of the church will soon be sought by other institutions . . . that want to strengthen their trustee bodies.”

I found his observations very interesting.  What are your thoughts?

Have a great weekend!  Remember to speak words of grace into the lives of others!

In Christ,

BG

 

Are You Listening?

January 10, 2011

A key attribute of an effective leader is the well-developed skill of listening.

In his book, Servant Leadership, Robert Greenleaf makes the following statement:

“ . . a true natural servant [leader] automatically responds to any problem by listening first.”

So, are you listening?

Blessings on your week,

BG