The Heart of a Servant-Leader

What is a servant-leader? Jesus taught the concept of servant leadership in Matthew 20:25-28.

“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

If you want to play a significant role in the kingdom of God, you must learn to be a servant. Servanthood is the gateway through which every great leader has passed. Jesus demonstrates to us what authentic servant-leadership looks like. How can we follow in His footsteps and be true servant-leaders? Here are 3 essential choices to make. 

1) Be meek.

Jesus declares in Matthew 11:29, “…I am meek and lowly in heart…” To be meek is to endure unfair situations with a patient attitude. Jesus did not resent the disciple who betrayed Him, the priests who bought His life, the governor who caved to pressure in His trial, or even the crowds who shouted for His death. 1 Peter 2:23 speaks of His meekness on the cross, “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:” Jesus was meek since He was submitted to His Father. He knew that all wrongs would be righted and the truth made plain in God’s time.

Living in an imperfect world, we will encounter that the unfairness of life. Will we respond meekly as Jesus did?

2) Focus on the needs of others.

Jesus was not absorbed in His own needs and desires. He was constantly giving time, energy, and wisdom to people. Jesus stopped to heal a blind man, raise a daughter from the dead, and cure a leper. He was not bound to a tight schedule of appointments and goals. He allowed time for unexpected opportunities to serve. His eyes, ears, and heart were attentive to the needs of others. Jesus served others with compassion, dignity, and grace. 

People next door, across the hall, and (dare I say it?) in your own home need your love and service. At our church in Sydney Mines, we need each other’s service. Will you serve them gladly?

3) Obey the Holy Spirit’s direction.

If you are walking in the Spirit, He will often nudge you in the right direction. He will open your eyes to recognize needs, or He may send someone to directly ask for your help. The Holy Spirit may open doors for witnessing, good works, counselling, making a home-cooked meal, or a thousand other ways. Jesus walked in the light of His Father’s presence continually. He stated in John 6:38, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” Jesus consistently obeyed God the Father’s will, and He was richly blessed.

The Holy Spirit will direct you in practical ways to serve. Will you heed His still, small voice?

How can we develop the heart of a servant-leader? We can choose to be meek, to focus on the needs of others, and to obey the Holy Spirit’s guidance. At our church in Sydney Mines, we seek to be servants. As we follow Christ’s example of service, we can be authentic servant-leaders.

Do you have the heart of a servant-leader? Learn more about God each week by worshipping with the friendly church family of Northside Baptist Church – Sundays at 11:00 am. 

For more information, call (902) 736-6465 or email

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