Summary and Conclusions
As Christian leaders modelled on Jesus we need to lead people in practical situations. In this, the underlying principles of the character of Christ becomes the basis of our character as a leader. It is a form of leadership which is not centred upon our goals, our position and our status. Rather it is based on the principle of being a servant and of serving others.
The achievement of this is dependent upon our attitude and practical day to actions as leaders. To this end we have examined seven practical characteristics of exemplary leaders. These practices provide both the insight and means to enable us to operate as Christ-centred servant leaders.
There are many leadership strategies available to us and the vast majority have secular origins. Many of them are not in keeping with Biblical teaching and the model of Jesus and exclude a servant concern for others. The seven leadership practices we have examined are, at the very least, sympathetic to being a Christ-centred servant leader. They form a sound basis for a Christian leader’s strategic and day to day practices that are focused on others. They provide a platform that allows the character of Christ to work out through the leader.
We saw that these leadership practices can be summarised as follows:
|Model the Way||
|Inspire a Shared Vision||
|Challenge the Process||
|Enable Others to Act||
|Encourage the Heart||
|Nurture the Character||
|Consider the Individual||
The application of these practices needs to be focused on others and so we introduced Situational Leadership as a tool so that the situation of those we lead can be factored into the process of enabling them to fulfil their potential.
Coaching is key tool used by leaders to support the personal development of individuals as it focuses on their situation. It is also an essential tool to ensure that the learning from training becomes embedded into practice.
In face-to-face leadership development, Claybury International’s policy has been to support individuals with one-to-one or group coaching. On-line training, such as Growing the Servant Heart, is able to be of benefit to many more people in many more places than can be served by traditional training. However, its very nature makes it impossible to provide one-to-one coaching. Consequently we would recommend that students seek out a trusted person to help them work through the day-to-day application of their learning gained from this programme.
Prayerfully consider your approach and performance as a leader against the seven leadership practices we have examined. Self-assessments are naturally biased by one’s own perceptions because we do not see ourselves from the objective eyes of others, therefore, please take time to consider your responses prayerfully. Be as honest with yourself as you can.
How close are you to achieving your full potential as a Christ-centred Servant Leader? You can use the questionnaire in Appendix 1 of the Student Notes to help you. Download them from the link
Based on your self-assessment prayerfully develop an action plan to help you grow as a Christ-centred servant leader. What will you do differently tomorrow?
It would be good for you to find a person that you trust to share this with. Ideally they will be able to help you work through issues that arise, and if they are willing, make yourself accountable to them to complete your action plan.
As we work through the rest of the Growing Servant Heart programme you will find other areas that you need to add to your action plan.
It will be helpful to make a “crib sheet” of the key points that you have learned so that you can refer back quickly when needed. You may find it helpful to use a small note-book or pocket-book for this, or use you smartphone or tablet if you have one.
Reviewing what you have learned so far and preparing the crib-sheet will help your learning process. This in turn help you to work out how to apply these things in your day-to-day situations.
Take some time to study the relationship between Paul and Timothy looking to see what Paul did to nurture him? What lessons can you learn from this to help you as a leader?
If you can, obtain a copy of Christian Reflections on the Leadership Challenge and use it to help gain further insight into the leadership practices we have been considering.
The next lesson in the Leading through Others module looks at the nature of teams and what is required to enable them to achieve their full potential. A team is a group of people working together but they must be cohesive; aligned and committed to the same goal and prepared to collaborate in order to be effective. To achieve this takes effort on the part of the leader and without that effort a group remains nothing more than a group of individuals, not a team. A cohesive team can achieve much, much more than a group, which otherwise would be no more effective than the sum of the individuals.
Leading Teams with a Servant Heart looks at six vital characteristics of a team to help the Christ-centred Servant leader enable the team, both individually and collectively, to achieve their full potential.
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