Jesus Christ’s Gospel: A Servant Leadership Approach


What does Jesus Christ’s gospel tell us about servitude and leadership in terms of servant leadership?


Jesus explained to his followers that his and their follower’s leadership practice was distinctly different from those leaders practicing self-serving and dominating leadership styles.


Penn State — Leadership
Oscar J Orellana
March 30, 2022 by


This site version was edited by:


Joaquim Cardoso MSc.
health transformation 
— research and advisory institute
Christian Spirituality Unit
July 23, 2022


Key messages (excerpted):


  • The servant leadership approach of Jesus Christ has impacted our civilization in imaginable ways. 

  • Some of these outcomes have been positive in providing Jesus Christ’s followers a blueprint for becoming better members of society. 

  • In contrast, some followers have utilized the bases of the Christian gospel to manipulate, kill, and commit many atrocities against their fellow members. 

  • However, it’s important to emphasize that Jesus Christ’s servant leadership approach is necessary to leadership primarily because 
    – it enables the leader to act as an agent of service to his followers 
    – rather than condition them into a cause or goal. 

  • In many instances, Jesus Christ taught us this primarily because he gave the follower the option to follow him voluntarily rather than forcing a belief onto them. 

  • These characteristics of Jesus Christ’s approach to leadership is what makes Jesus Christ a powerful model to follow in term of servant leadership.

  • Specific characteristics distinguish servant leadership from other leadership theories and approaches.

  • The characteristics of: listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building a community
    were crucial characteristics that Greenleaf, like Spears (2002) recognized as critical for any servant leader to possess them.

However, it’s important to emphasize that Jesus Christ’s servant leadership approach is necessary to leadership primarily because: 
– it enables the leader to act as an agent of service to his followers 
– rather than condition them into a cause or goal.




What is Servant Leadership?


Servant leadership is an approach focusing on leadership from leaders’ points of view and their behaviors. 


Most importantly, servant leadership emphasizes that leaders be attentive to the concerns of their followers, with an emphasis on helping them and nurturing them by first empowering them and helping them develop their full personal potential (Northouse, 2022, p.253). 


… servant leadership emphasizes that leaders be attentive to the concerns of their followers, …

… with an emphasis on helping them and nurturing them by first empowering them and helping them develop their full personal potential


Concerning the servant leadership approach, Jesus Christ embodies the pattern of an ideal servant leader. 

Primarily by being an example to his followers in his time and the multitudes that followed after his death. 

Jesus explained to his followers that his and their follower’s leadership practice was distinctly different from those leaders practicing self-serving and dominating leadership styles. 

“Whoever would be first among you must be a servant of all.” (Holy Bible, 2011, Mk. 10:42–44; Mt. 20: 25–28).


Jesus explained to his followers that his and their follower’s leadership practice was distinctly different from those leaders practicing self-serving and dominating leadership styles.


“Whoever would be first among you must be a servant of all.” (Mt. 20: 25–28).


Servant Leadership Approach in Practice


Servant leaders begin with the natural feeling that one wants to aid, to serve first. 


This conscious intention of wanting to assist others to realize their goals and objectives creates an individual into the ideal candidate to be a servant leader. 

In practice, servant leaders put followers first, entrust them, and help them grow their full personal capabilities (Northouse, 2022). 


In terms of Jesus Christ, his followers witnessed Jesus Christ assisting the poor, sick, and afflicted to find comfort and hope in his gospel. 

After more than 2,000 years, Jesus Christ’s message remains the best example of servitude to others for the greater good of everyone; 


In terms of Jesus Christ, his followers witnessed Jesus Christ assisting the poor, sick, and afflicted to find comfort and hope in his gospel.

After more than 2,000 years, Jesus Christ’s message remains the best example of servitude to others for the greater good of everyone;


“For even the Son of Man 
did not come expecting to be served by everyone, 
but to serve everyone, 
and to give his life 
as the ransom price in exchange for the salvation of many.” 

(Holy Bible, 2011, Mk. 10:45).



Characteristics of a Servant Leader


Specific characteristics distinguish servant leadership from other leadership theories and approaches. 


The characteristics of 

  • listening, 
  • empathy, 
  • healing, 
  • awareness, 
  • persuasion, 
  • conceptualization, 
  • foresight, 
  • stewardship, 
  • commitment to the growth of people, and 
  • building a community 

(Northouse, 2022, p.255–256) were crucial characteristics that Greenleaf, like Spears (2002) recognized as critical for any servant leader to possess them. 


Like Jesus Christ, the fact that his disciples described Jesus to be a man of empathy for the pain of others, who listened attentively to the weeping of his followers. 

More so, he was recognized to heal the leper and sick. 

Distiguisbly, Jesus Christ was a master of persuasion who attentively made an effort to persuade his followers into conceptualizing the vision of a better world outside the constraints that society has imposed on the less privileged.


Jesus as an effective servant leader he was, was capable of foresight of the destructive consequences of humanity’s immoral actions towards themselves, the environment, and their neighbors. 


Jesus as an effective servant leader he was, was capable of foresight of the destructive consequences of humanity’s immoral actions towards themselves, the environment, and their neighbors.


In addition, Jesus Christ proclaimed all responsibility for his action and the gospel he was preaching to the masses. 

Mainly because Jesus Christ was committed to the growth of people, in helping people treat each other with respect and dignity, and most important, he was committed to building a community, a belief system, a way of life for many. 

This objective of Jesus Christ of building a community has grown dramatically in the last 2,000 plus years, with most of the population in actuality believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ as a role model for humanity (Vaughan, n.d).


Mainly because Jesus Christ was committed to the growth of people, in helping people treat each other with respect and dignity, and most important, he was committed to building a community, a belief system, a way of life for many.


Servant Leader Behaviors


Servant leader behaviors are at the core of the servant leadership process because servant leaders’ behaviors are the blueprint that their followers emulate in the absence of their leader (Northouse, 2022). 


Behaviors such as conceptualization, emotional healing, putting followers first, helping others grow and succeed in their endeavors, behaving ethically, empowering others, and creating value for the community (Northouse, 2022, p.261–263) characterize servant leaders as no other leadership approaches. 


Behaviors such as conceptualization, emotional healing, putting followers first, helping others grow and succeed in their endeavors, behaving ethically, empowering others, and creating value for the community, …

… characterize servant leaders as no other leadership approaches.


Each behavior contributes to the overall servant leadership approach with the overall goal to serve others rather than just leading them. 

These behaviors that characterized a servant leader were documented in the four gospels of the Bible, which describe Jesus Christ as an exemplar to follow because he was a master at conceptualizing his goal. 

Christ’s behaviors made him a role model to follow in helping people heal themselves from emotional trauma and putting others’ needs before their own, behaving ethically, morally, and legally. 

Most importantly, empowering followers to seek freedom to be independent and make the decision on their own with the end goal of creating value for others and the community that the individual belongs to.


These behaviors that characterized a servant leader were documented in the four gospels of the Bible, which describe Jesus Christ as an exemplar to follow because he was a master at conceptualizing his goal.


Servant Leadership Outcomes


The outcomes focus on the servant leadership approach are essential to examine by the followers. 


The main goal of servant leadership is to create unification by strengthening the individual who later solidifies the group. 


The main goal of servant leadership is to create unification by strengthening the individual who later solidifies the group.


For the most part, the outcomes that followers can expect in following a servant leader are performance and growth, organizational performance, and societal impact (Northouse, 2022, p.264–265). 

Jesus Christ’s Gospel was able to conceive all three outcomes for his followers. 

  • First, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has grown tremendously, becoming the most popular religion on earth (Vaughan, n.d). 
  • Second, Jesus Christ has become the most significant figure in any Christian denomination, teaching, and philosophy globally. 
  • Third, the societal impact has been positive since more people have access to other resources such as healthcare, food, and education thru the Christian doctrine (Schweiger, 2019). 

Therefore, the outcomes as a consequence of Jesus Christ’s Gospel have positively impacted our world in ways still imaginable to many of us.



Conclusion


The servant leadership approach of Jesus Christ has impacted our civilization in imaginable ways. Some of these outcomes have been positive in providing Jesus Christ’s followers a blueprint for becoming better members of society. In contrast, some followers have utilized the bases of the Christian gospel to manipulate, kill, and commit many atrocities against their fellow members. However, it’s important to emphasize that Jesus Christ’s servant leadership approach is necessary to leadership primarily because it enables the leader to act as an agent of service to his followers rather than condition them into a cause or goal. In many instances, Jesus Christ taught us this primarily because he gave the follower the option to follow him voluntarily rather than forcing a belief onto them. These characteristics of Jesus Christ’s approach to leadership is what makes Jesus Christ a powerful model to follow in term of servant leadership.


References:


Northouse, P.G. (2022). Leadership: Theory and Practice. 9th Edition. Los Angeles: Sage Publications. ISBN 978–1–5443

Holy Bible, New International Version. (2011). NIV. (Original work published 1973). Retrieved from: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2020%3A25-28%2CMark%2010%3A42-45&version=NIV

Holy Bible, New International Version. (2011). NIV. (Original work published 1973). Retrieved from: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%2010:45&version=NIV

Spears, L.C. (2002). Tracing the past, present, and future of servant leadership. In L.C. Spears & M.Lawrence (Eds.), Focus on Leadership: Servant Leadership for the 21st century (pp.1–16), New York, NY. Wiley.

Vaughan, D. (n.d). What Is the Most Widely Practiced Religion in the World? . Encyclopedia Britannica . https://www.britannica.com/story/what-is-the-most-widely-practiced-religion-in-the-world

Schweiger, G. (2019). Religion and poverty. Palgrave Communications, 5 (1) https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-019-0272-3


Originally published at https://sites.psu.edu on March 30, 2022.

Total
0
Shares
Deixe um comentário

O seu endereço de e-mail não será publicado. Campos obrigatórios são marcados com *

Related Posts
Read More

The God of Hope

Christian Spirituality Institute for Bible Teaching and Christian Discipleship Daily DevotionalTruth For LifeJANUARY 1, 2023 May the God of…

Subscribe

PortugueseSpanishEnglish
Total
0
Share