“I don’t want to BE a servant, I want to HAVE servants!” That’s a frequent heart-attitude but it shouldn’t belong to a believer. As Christian leaders, whether a mom or dad, an employee at work, or in our extended family, our hearts should desire to serve. If we’re truly following Christ and He’s our example then there’s no other choice.
It may seem that the title servant-leader is an oxymoron. Well, here’s how it goes. We are all born serving sin whether we become leaders or followers. When we respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ in repentance, our allegiance changes and we are no longer in bondage to sin, as a servant, but we voluntarily serve Christ. We become solely committed to God and are swallowed up in His will. Our dependence is no longer on ourselves and what we can accomplish but on God. When that happens He gives us opportunities to serve and lead. It’s quite a privilege.
Whether our ministry is at home, work, or church, it ultimately belongs to God but He has gifted it to us. He desires a pure heart and a servant-mentality as we lead, however, in order to do accomplish that a heart-check is necessary. Checking your motives for serving, as we see in Peter (Matt. 19:27-30) may be necessary. We can’t correct someone if we ignore God’s correction to us; we can’t warn someone if we haven’t heeded God’s warning to us. We can’t give what we don’t have.
God changes our hearts toward others when we serve Him and as His Spirit works in our life we are ready to yield to Him even to the point of relinquishing our plans for His. We learn to disregard our own interests for the interests of others; that’s servant-leadership. The Holy Spirit helps us to redefine who we are, no longer looking only to our needs but to the needs of those we serve. He develops the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and others watch it grow. Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are the apples and oranges on our trees and they are developed from the inside out; there is no other way. They only grow as you yield yourself to the Spirit, consequently, your perspective changes and you enjoy serving God and others. In 2 Peter 1:1 Peter called himself a slave of Jesus Christ; his heart had changed after following his Lord and ours will as well.
And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. Luke 12:42-44 NLT