Robert Greenleaf proposes that the best leaders are servants first. He says the key tools for servant leadership include listening, persuasion, foresight, the use of language, and the pragmatic measuring of outcomes. Throughout the time that our Lord was here on earth, He demonstrated servant leadership. Then just before He died He did something to reinforce what He had taught and lived. We read in John chapter 13 that while He and His disciples were in the Upper Room, He got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ stinking feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” Servant leaders do not use their positions to satisfy their greed, to fill their pockets with money, or to exercise undue power over others. Rather, Servant Leaders follow the teaching and example of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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