Do you want to be a great leader? Learn to serve!

What is Leadership?What does it mean to serve? According to the verb “serve” means to act as a servant. This idea is so counter-cultural. To be a servant brings many poor connotations…and rightly so. If we dig deeper we see that the word “serve” also means to render assistance; be of use; help. Now, this would require the most difficult task of all mankind…to fix our eyes and efforts on others. Our natural desire is self-preservation and therefore we miss opportunities to serve.

It is only fitting that we highlight the greatest example of servant leadership in the history of the world. Jesus of Nazareth walked this earth over 2,000 years ago and turned the world upside down. He was God’s Son, the anticipated Savior, and yet He showed up in the most humble fashion. Many, at the time, expected royalty and He was just the opposite. In Matthew 20:28 we read that this king “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” The majority of Jesus’s closest followers were enamored by His servant leadership and followed to their eventual, cruel death. His ultimate death on the cross showed us that His servant leadership wasn’t weakness, but instead strength driven by love for others.

Leadership is not Dictatorship

The difference in the two is simple: care. Leadership cares for willing followers and dictatorship commands fearful people. Be a listener, care for those around you, help those in need, and you will build the most important quality in any follower…loyalty! Loyal followers stick with their leader thru thick and thin. They do not allow circumstances to dictate their ability to follow the leader. In the end, new leaders are born and the mission strengthens.

Where do you start?

You’ve got to slow down, look around you, and see the “others.” Then get involved! There is always something to do. It’s comfortable to walk through life doing only what people expect, but when you look for ways to “render assistance; be of use; help,” you can make an impact. This generation is crying out for a chance to make a difference and to leave their mark. Service has to be the catalyst for change.

What does it look like?

Work! If serving was easy and fun everyone would be doing it. Being intentional with one’s time, resources, and energy is a great sacrifice. It takes discipline to make that intentional sacrifice required of any servant leader. Don’t sit back and wait for orders. Be a self-starter and get your hands dirty with service!

So, what are you? The world has plenty of followers, and I dare say plenty of leaders. The world needs more SERVANT LEADERS!

UMHB is the university of choice for Christian higher education in the Southwest. If you are looking for a place to receive an education for life and an experience of a lifetime, UMHB would be a great fit for you! Check out our website for more information, or stop by any time for a campus visit to learn more!