Scripture makes it clear that leadership inside the church should look very different from leadership outside the church. Church leaders should lead from moral authority rather than hierarchy.
But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:25-28
Here are some ideas on how to practice servant leadership.
Leadership is about relationships with people.
Regardless of the task your team is trying to accomplish, to be a good leader you need to know the people you are leading, how they work, what interests and what inspires them. Good leaders take a bit of time to get to know their team members as people. But it can’t be fake. Your interest must be genuine and more than a one-time event.
Good leaders work in the best interest of their team, not their own of selfish interests. If you demonstrate to your team that you are working for them and not yourself, they will gladly do their part to make the team successful.
First things first
Make sure you know the priorities of what you’re trying to accomplish so that you are working on the right things.
Seek good, not glory.
You can do a lot more good when you don’t care who gets the credit. Be content playing second fiddle. Corollary: Never take credit for some one else’s work. This destroys your trustworthiness. You can tell your team no longer trusts you when they stop talking to you.
Servant leaders are responsible to do what is best, which may not always be what they personally want.
Never hoard information. It’s your job to ensure the team has what it needs to be successful.
If you have been given the resources, the decision is your team’s to make. If you need more resources than you have, bring in those who oversee your team and/or have the resources.
Risk is a resource, just like money or people. Too little risk starves the organization. Too much risk burns out the organization.
3 Things that destroy a team
Three things that will make working on your team miserable:
- Being anonymous — people will be miserable in their job if they think no one appreciates them.
- Being irrelevant — people will not continue a task they believe matters to no one.
- Seeing no progress — people will not continue a job if they never see any fruit.