Servant-Hearted Leadership



In the eyes of Jesus, we’re all leaders!

What does it mean to listen, lead, and love like Jesus? Since each of us is a unique member of the body of Christ with different life experiences, to lead well requires constant dependence on the Spirit to grow us as servant-hearted leaders.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

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  • Am I drawn by God’s call to serve the precious people He has placed right before me?
  • Am I growing as a servant leader?
  • As a leader, what obstacle/s do I need to remove?
  • What do I need to release control of – people, performance, or progress?
  • How do I celebrate others?
  • How do I encourage others?
  • How well do I encourage and equip others to serve those whom God has called them to lead?
  • How well do I listen to others?
  • What kind of listener am I?
    • Ignoring: Waiting for the other person to stop speaking so I can say the words I already have in mind.
    • Pretending: This is distracted listening – hearing words but not truly engaged
    • Selective: This is a cafeteria-style of listening – tuning in to only some of the other person’s words.
    • Attentive: Hear and understand the entire message, even asking follow-up questions.
    • Empathetic: Hear both the words and the emotions behind them – listening with the heart, not just the ears.

Questions for servant-hearted leaders to ask those we serve

  • What are you learning?
  • How can I pray for you?
  • How can I serve you better?
  • What do you need?
  • How can I help?
  • Where and how could you see yourself serving?
  • How can I encourage you?
  • If you’ve received discouraging feedback or unfair criticism, how can we build healthier boundaries for you in the future?


  • give us the courage to lead when we feel inadequate.
  • help us love difficult people.
  • control our tongues so we will not hurt others with our words.
  • comfort us when we receive harsh criticism.
  • bring peace through reconciled relationships.
  • our hearts from self-centered to Kingdom-centered.
  • redeem all our failures and mistakes for His glory.
  • equip us with all we need to lead His people.



Am I here to serve or to be served? Am I:

  1. accountable?
  2. authentic?
  3. caring?
  4. collaborative?
  5. compassionate?
  6. empathetic?
  7. engaged?
  8. humble?
  9. honest?
  10. open to feedback?
  11. willing to listen?
  12. open-minded?
  13. patient?
  14. self-aware?
  15. selfless?
  16. intentionally kind? 


Dear Lord,

Please fill me with the courage of Gideon, the faithfulness of Nehemiah, and the boldness of Daniel. Grow my love for You so that even when all I have is light enough for the next step, I will trust You completely. Surround me with people who know me, who follow You, and who are willing to speak truth into my life. Give me patience with both people and the pace of progress. Please make me a generous encourager in what I say and in all I do. Help me know when to say ”Yes” and when to say “No.” Never let my plans get ahead of (or in the place of) Yours. Help me to forgive easily, to hold no grudges or bitterness, and to extend to others the abundant grace You’ve so lavishly given me. Remind me that Your plan is always worth waiting for. Help me to bring glory to Your name as I lead with a servant’s heart. In the name of Jesus, the very best servant leader ever to walk this earth, amen.

Dear Lord,

I desire to consistently welcome your guidance in how I lead. I want your presence and perfect wisdom to illuminate my thoughts, decisions, and actions. I know that this illumination is possible, and through welcoming it, I will be a more effective and joyous servant leader. Amen.

Lord, give me the courage to support other leaders. Help me stand firm in what is true and teach me to lead with wisdom and compassion as a faithful follower of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

Lord, lead me by your Spirit and feed me in your Word, teach me to be a humble servant all for your great glory. May I always seek you first. Amen.

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Servant-Hearted Leadership

What kind of leader am I? Am I drawn by God's call to serve the precious people He has placed right in front of me? Do I celebrate, encourage, and listen to others?

Prayers of Servant-Hearted Leaders

Being followers of Jesus, we are all called to listen, lead, and love. Prayer opens our hearts and eyes to those we can guide with a listening ear and a kind word. Begin with the prayers below, use them as they are, or create personal prayers of your own.

Keep Listening

I maintained my regular morning quiet times but sensed a new distance from the Lord. I will seek, wait, and listen still – but speak, Lord.

Build an Illness Ministry

This practical guide walks you through the first steps toward building a chronic illness small group.

Small Group Roles

This downloadable PDF provides helpful tips for organizing your small group and defining group roles.

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TED TALK – Simon Sinek has a simple, but powerful model for inspirational leadership – starting with a golden circle and the question: “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Wright brothers. Watch HERE.


TED TALK – We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives. Watch HERE.

Triaging Daily Life

triage your busy life

TED TALK (watch HERE)ER doctor Darria Long explains key lessons from hospital emergency rooms on handling stress, chaos, and life. Helpful insights and tools, simple applications, and ideas for everyday life that everyone (including small group leaders, church and organization leaders, and pastors) can apply:

      • Crazy Busy vs Ready Mode
      • How to Triage
      • Prepare for Crazy
      • Reduce Your Daily Decisions
      • Get Out of Your Head
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