November 06, 2011

The Servant Leader

Philippians 2:1-11

He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
Philippians 2:7


I (Allen) once met with a large group of church planters from across several denominations. They were all leaders of churches experiencing great evangelistic growth. They all had in common a deep love for Jesus and a passionate concern for the people in the communities they served. They were servant-leaders.

When Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me” (John 20:21), he is calling us to lead as he does. Jesus was the ultimate Servant, laying aside his rights and privileges as the Son of God. Being sent meant humbling himself to become one of us. In so doing, he took on himself the consequences of our sin.

How do you perceive God? Are you willing to be shaped by Jesus to become a servant of others? Jesus helps us to offer people his beautiful invitation: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Just as Jesus became a servant to us, he invites us to find rest and strength in him so that we can become servants to others. He loves us so much that he gave his life for us. And he calls us to serve sacrificially so that others can find rest for their souls.

Lord, life can be difficult. As we struggle, help us to surrender our pride and discover that in you we may find rest for the journey and strength to share your love. Amen.

About the author — Allen & Lynn Likkel

Revs. Allen and Lynn Likkel have worked in communities across North America for many years—planting churches, nurturing them along, and developing new church leaders. A minister in the Christian Reformed Church, Allen served with Christian Reformed Home Missions for nearly 40 years, and Lynn, also ordained as a minister of the Word, has served to build leaders and new congregations. In November 2010, Allen entered retirement, and the Likkels moved to Washington, their native state. They have four adult children.

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