A servant leader must have Christ as his focus; it is key to make Jesus the sole source for strength to love God and others (Fischer, 2010b). Servant leaders are man-centered or Christ-centered (Liberty University, 2014c). Leadership occurs when influence is demonstrated, and servant leadership is a mandate for followers of Christ (Blanchard & Hodges, 2008). Christians do have the benefit of looking to Christ as their example (Hebrew 12). “He is simply the greatest leadership model for all time” (Balnchard & Hodges, 2003, p 10). Christ lead in the following ways, personal leadership, one-on-one leadership, team leadership, and organizational leadership. (Liberty University, 2014a). This method allowed Jesus to focus on his personal walk with God and then build on that relationship to serve others. Personal leadership allows a person to ask, Whose Am I? and Who am I? These two questions establish authority and a life purpose for the servant leader to follow (Blanchard & Hodges, 2008). The servant leader who answers these questions biblically will view Jesus as the leadership guide and listen to his counsel (Liberty University, 2014c).
Jesus set a key example of servant leadership when he washed the feet of his disciples in John 13. This act of service was rebuked by Peter in verse 8 where Peter says, “You shall never wash my feet” (New King James Version). Jesus replies to Peter’s statement with. “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me” (John 13:8, New King James Version). This exchange shows the core purpose of Jesus leadership method. This method demonstrated that the master was willing to do whatever it took to show love to others. As a result, the servants should do likewise. Jesus flipped the traditional leadership paradigm on its head. Traditionally the servants serve the masters. In this case, the master served the servants (Liberty University, 2014b).
A Servant leaders motives must go through the filter of man-centered versus Christ-centered. This filter allows the individual seeking to be a servant leader to allow God to work through him and develop the proper priorities in life (Fischer, 2010b) Greenleaf brought servant leadership into the business and academic world as a viable method of leadership (Spears, 1996). However, Greenleaf does not acknowledge the need to purified by Christ that enables the servant leader to serve God first and then serve others.
Blanchard, K., & Hodges, P. (2008). Lead like Jesus: Lessons for everyone from the greatest leadership role model of all time. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
Blanchard, K., & Hodges, P. (2003). The servant leader. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
Coulter, G. L. (2003). The servant leader. Christian Education Journal, 7(1), 23–45. Retrieved from, http://p2048-www.liberty.edu.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/docview/205458916?accountid=12085
Fischer, K. (2010a). Biblical leadership. [Video podcast]. Retrieved from Liberty University Course BUSI 502 Blackboard site.
Fischer, K. (2010b). Personal application. [Video podcast]. Retrieved from Liberty University Course BUSI 502 Blackboard site.
Liberty University. (2014a). BUSI-502 Servant leadership Module/Week 1. Leading like Jesus who will you follow? How will you lead?. [PowerPoint slides]. Available from http://www.liberty.edu.
Liberty University. (2014b). BUSI-502 Servant leadership Module/Week 3. The head of a servant leader. [PowerPoint slides]. Available from http://www.liberty.edu.
Liberty University. (2014c). BUSI-502 Servant leadership Module/Week 2. The servant leader. [Audio Presentation]. Available from http://www.liberty.edu.
Spears, L. C. (2004). Practicing servant-leadership. Leader to Leader, 2004(34), 7–11. Retrieved from, http://p2048-www.liberty.edu.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/docview/218344443?accountid=12085
Spears, L. (1996). Reflections on Robert K. Greenleaf and servant leadership. Leadership & Organizational Development Journal, 17(7), 33-35. Retrieved from, http://p2048-www.liberty.edu.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest
van Dierendonck, D. (2011). Servant leadership: A review and synthesis. Journal of Management, 37(4), 1228-1261. DOI: 10.1177/0149206310380462