Robert Greenleaf said a servant leader is a servant first. It is not about being servile—or a slave—but about wanting to help others, meeting the needs of colleagues, customers, and communities. Servant leaders, he says, initiate action, set goals, and dream large. They are dependable and trustworthy. Peter, the Apostle of Christ, doubtlessly had servant leadership in mind when he wrote these words found in 1 Peter 5: “And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly – not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor. In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Any and everyone who aspires to be a leader ought to give special heed to Peter’s counsel.
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