Serving From the Heart

John Paul WarrenLeadership

For even the Son of Man (Jesus) did not come to be SERVED, but to SERVEMark 10:45

The highest of all callings is the call to servanthood. There is no higher honor or accolade for a man or woman than that to be known as a servant. In today’s “me first” society, serving others is hardly a thought or possible consideration, let alone is it deemed honorable. For some, serving others is a role reserved for the hired help, the less educated or the weaker individual among us. When in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Today, our culture has become twisted in its understanding and appraisal of serving. For many, “leading” and “serving”, do not go together. They are polar opposites.

Christ’s message was a message of servanthood. He stated that He did not come to “be served” but rather “to serve”. Serving was one of the reasons for His coming. Serving others was the very core of His life’s purpose and mission. We too as Christ ambassadors (a representative), should also seek the opportunity to serve others. Not out of duty or obligation, or to fulfill any particular religious code or creed but out of a genuine love for others. Our acts of service should not only be toward the Church, but to all men and women of all faiths and beliefs.

Servant leaders are not leaders on the basis of their position or leadership role, but rather lead according to their calling, vision and principles. Servant leaders do not seek job titles, position, status, or the approval of man in order to serve. Serving is in their nature and it is prompted by a heart that desires to place the needs of others, first. This service to others is where authentic leadership is defined.

Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church says, “We serve God by serving others”. The servant leader ministers to others as unto Christ. His/her role as a leader is first as servant. Like Christ, the servant leader does not seek to “be served” but rather “to serve”. Christ’s service was a visible demonstration of His love for humanity. Likewise, a servant leader demonstrates his love by serving others. A servant’s heart is the undeniable fruit of such unconditional love.

A young man once asked me, “How can I become a servant leader?” I encouraged him to observe and study the lives and examples of other great servant leaders, and more importantly the life and message of Christ. I shared with him how my father, the greatest servant leader I had ever known had impacted my life. I told him stories of my father’s selfless service and tireless dedication to others and his community. I told him that some men seek to build their own “kingdoms”, others to accumulate mass fortunes. I told him that this is not the goal or inspiration of a servant leader. A servant leader wants and needs nothing more than to serve. Pastor and author A.W. Tozer said, “I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame, and I choose it above all things on Earth or in Heaven.”

My challenge to you; seek the more fulfilling life by serving others. Serve out of a sincere desire to follow in the footsteps of the greatest servant leader who ever lived. One who came to serve rather than be served, Jesus Christ.