Over the past few weeks, we have taken notice that the character of leadership involves integrity, security, purity, and humility. Servanthood is also part of the character of being Christian leaders. Jeff Iorg warns, “We can slowly, incrementally, develop expectations of being served rather than sacrificing ourselves for others” (Iorg, The Character of Leadership, p. 115). Let’s take a few moments today and consider the importance of having an attitude of servanthood as followers of Jesus Christ and leaders in His church.
Loving God and loving others need to be my motive for ministry.
We can be motivated by guilt, expectations of others, desire for recognition, money, or even a sense of duty in ministry. “The Bible is clear – love for God. Jesus said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment’ (Matt. 22:37–38)” (Iorg, 119–20). Jesus went on to teach the importance of loving others: “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:39). In John 13, Jesus exemplified first-hand for the disciples the attitude of serving them as he washed their feet and forecasted His ultimate loving sacrifice on the Cross.
Developing a personal mission statement can help me understand practical ways to serve.
From time to time, I need to reflect on how God has gifted me and burdened me to serve Him. Jeff Iorg (Iorg, 125) suggests reflecting on the following questions:
- What do I really enjoy?
- What am I really good at?
- What does God bless when I do it?
- What is really special or unique about me?
- What am I doing that is not very productive?
He gives several more practical ways to consider developing a personal mission statement in this section of his book, The Character of Leadership.
Consider your various individual attributes.
The Lord has gifted you and uniquely made you. The Lord works through our personalities, gifts, abilities, calling, experiences and so forth. 1 Peter 4:10–11 encourages, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
It can be good for us (and others) to just do some simple chores. Clean a bathroom, take out the trash, mow the lawn. Often, “leaders” are relieved of doing any “hands-on” service jobs.
Actually, doing some manual labor, or a simple chore, can be refreshing as we get to “see” the results.
A Prayer for Us: Dear Father, thank You for Your love for me and people. I pray I will love You more each day. I pray for Your strength to empower me to love others as You love them. I pray You will renew within me a heart to serve. I admit I need to take time to seek You and for You to refresh me as Your servant. Thank You for creating us and for the attributes You have given us. Praise You for Your example, and for Your strength as we seek to serve.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 24–25
Your brother in Christ,