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Servant Leadership

Briefing: The best leaders have a servant’s heart.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Romans 15:1-6.

On the Street: I have seen a lot of good servant leaders at all levels. I have also seen leaders who started out as good servant leaders, get promoted, and lose the servant leader focus. It seems the higher up we promote, the more susceptible we are to the trappings and sin of pride. I am not saying it is impossible because I have served under chiefs who seem to get better at servant leadership as they continued to promote. It has been my experience that this is extremely difficult and something few are able to accomplish the more they advance.

How can a leader maintain and increase their servant leader skills and mind set? In these six verses Paul gives us several examples of servant leader characteristics. In verse one, Paul basically says we should please others and not ourselves. To put someone’s interest above our own takes patience and love.

In verse two Paul says, “Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” We should mentor and encourage those we supervise. We have an obligation to prepare and train our co-workers to someday take our place.

Next, Paul tells us, “For even Christ did not please Himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” Leaders will always get criticized no matter how good of a job they do. They have to develop a thick skin and try not to be offended every time someone gets upset with them. Proverbs 19:11 says, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s gory to overlook an offence.”

Another point of this verse comes from Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” If you are being insulted because of righteousness and imitating Christ, way to go!

Verse four, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” A good Christian leader reads God’s Word. It is a priority and a source for the wisdom to rule. When Solomon was made king of Israel, God told him he could ask for whatever he wanted. Solomon’s response was, “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people”.

Verses five and six are a picture of a group coming together as a solid unit, being united in their goal and direction. Paul writes, “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Investigational Resources: 1 Chronicles chapter 1 and 1 Kings chapter 3.

Officer Safety Principle: If you are blessed to be in a leadership position, maintain your focus on God and be the kind of leader that reflects Him.

from The Book of Romans Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!