Being a Christ-centred Servant Leader

  • Take a Moment: What conclusions do you draw about being a Christian leader? What characteristics should you exhibit?

What conclusions can we draw about Christ-centred leadership?

  • The way the Kingdom works is diametrically opposed to the way the world works. Consequently leadership focused on status, power, authority, seeking the leader’s own benefit, has no place in the Kingdom of God.

  • The model of leadership that Jesus taught and modelled belongs to the Kingdom of God and as such challenges every national, social and organisational culture to be found in the world.

  • Kingdom Leadership, and greatness, start from a place of humility before God and man and remains there. It is based on a character that is both Christ-like and Christ-centred. Its primary goal is to serve others not self, as modelled by Jesus.

  • The focus of the Christ-centred servant leader is others. In serving others, the goal is to nurture and support them so that they can achieve their full potential.

  • The servant character, which should be common to all Christians, means that everyone should be concerned for the needs of others. The service of those who are led, therefore, includes enabling their leaders to achieve their full potential.

  • Like Jesus, the Christ-centred servant leader operates in the realm of relationship which enables trust and influence to be its major characteristics, not command and control.

  • Like mindedness, in the context of Christ-centred leadership is about the leader and those whom they lead, working towards a shared, common purpose which contributes to the fulfilment of the higher purpose of God’s plan.

  • Concern for the spiritual well-being and growth of those who are led is important to the Christ-centred servant leader.

  • Servant leaders grow servant leaders, whether formal or informal and at some point everyone offers leadership to another.

All Christians are called to be Christ-centred Servants

Our context has been that of formal leadership. Therefore it is appropriate to emphasise again that every Christian is called to live out the servant character of Christ, not just formal leaders.  More than that most, if not all, Christians will at some time occupy a position of informal leadership. This can take many forms: for instance it may be guiding a newcomer; it may be passing on a skill… In those situations the model we need to hold to and live out is that of Christ-like, Christ-centred service; considering the needs not only of ourselves but of others.  In this sense all Christians are called to be Christ-centred servant leaders, modelled on the character and example of Jesus.

Given that servant leaders grow servant leaders it is appropriate that all are taught and shown what it means to be a servant of others and to be encouraged to be just that.

Action Plan

Take time to reflect on what you have learned and identify what actions you need to take as a result. The following lessons will help you to understand how being a Christ-centred servant leader works out in practical leadership situations.

Further Study

A study of the gospels, particularly Mark, from the perspective of Jesus relationship with and development of the disciples in view is very informative about how he acted as a servant leader.


The next “Growing the Servant Heart” Study is “Reflections on Leadership.” This examines the traditional, secular view of leadership in the light of Christ-centred servant leadership. It shows how leaders determine the culture and character of an organisation. It identifies ways that a leader can influence the values of an organisation.


R.T.France,Tyndale New Testament Commentaries –  Matthew – Intervarsity Press

Matthew Henry : Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible – Hendrickson Publishers. Also available on-line at

D.A Carson: The Expositors Bible Commentary  – Matthew  – Zondervan

Merril C Tenny:  The Expositors Bible Commentary  – John  – Zondervan

S Buzzell (General Editor): The Leadership Bible {Leading by the Book} Zondervan

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words;  Thomas Nelson Publishers