6 Qualities of a Servant Leader

Matthew 20:25-27 – “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.  But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:”

John 13:4,5 – “He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.  After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”
We know from the words of Christ and the example of Christ that true leadership, which is biblical leadership, is always servant leadershipThat’s the model and the mode by which Jesus wants us to be leaders.  Each one of us is a leader in some form or the other because each one of us has influence, but we cannot be the leader that God wants us to be until we learn to follow Jesus Christ and his example.  Below are 6 qualities that should be found in a servant leader taken from the life of Joseph in the book of Genesis.  I encourage you to look up the verses in correlation with the points.
1.  Trustworthy – Gen. 39:4-6; 22-23
Joseph, who was sold to Potiphar as a slave, was put in charge of EVERYTHING that Potiphar had and possessed.  Potiphar trusted Joseph so much that he didn’t have to keep track of anything he had because he knew that Joseph had it under control!  Even when Joseph was thrown into prison, he was eventually put in charge of all the prisoners.  Ultimately, because he was trustworthy.  He could be given charge of something, he could be given a task, and be trusted to take responsibility and complete it!
2.  Stays Positive – Gen. 39:20-23
Being wrongfully put in prison was a great opportunity to be negative.  We know the end of the story, but Joseph didn’t.  Instead of complaining about his prison sentence, Joseph made the prison the place to be.  A difference maker was the fact that Joseph didn’t concentrate so much on what was happening to him, but rather focused on what he could do for other people during that negative situation.  A servant leader can take a negative situation and find ways to make it positive.
3.  Has Initiative – Gen. 41:28-57
With God’s help, Joseph identified the need (there would be a famine for 7 years), he found a solution (store up food 7 years prior), and Pharaoh put him in charge of the entire food gathering process, in which, Joseph delegated responsibilities and took action!  It’s easy to sit back and see problems.  It’s easy to sit back and see the problems in church or in a youth group, but it’s an entirely different thing to take initiative to fix and be a part of the solution to those problems.  A servant leader has initiative.
4. Strengthens Others by Serving Them – Gen. 39:4,5; 40:4
39:5 – “And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake.” Are other people’s lives better and blessed because of our servant-leadership?  Being a servant-leader means we’re less concerned with us and more focused on others!
5. Gives God the Glory – Gen. 41:15,16
Being a servant leader requires humility.  Humility causes us to recognize that every good gift and every perfect gift comes from God, and when something good happens, it’s ultimately a result of the merciful and gracious hand of God.  When praise is directed our way, we reflect it back to the source that allowed us to accomplish what has been done.  A servant leader recognizes that without God, we’re nothing.
6. Uses Good Judgment – Gen. 39:7-12; 41:39
Joseph lived by principle, not feeling and emotion.  Being placed under pressure, he had the ability to look at a situation and evaluate the best response based on biblical principles.  A servant leader not only hears the Word of God, but purposes to put it into practice and apply it to life’s situations.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of servant-leader characteristics, and there’s certainly plenty more to talk about.  If you desire to listen to the recent Youth Group messages in our Leadership series, you can find them here.
Pastor Dale

Leave a Reply