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The servant leadership style is based on the idea that leaders prioritize serving the greater good. Leaders with this style serve their team and organization first. Employees in a servant leadership environment are more likely to feel that their voices are heard. The writer of Psalms states, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.” It is this basic biblical premise on which servant leaders form their values for leading others.

It might seem obvious to value and appreciate others’ work, but servant leaders also value the well-being of their team. From a biblical perspective, leaders can affirm the good nature of work as part of the human story. Work was given as a gift from God to humanity before the disobedience of the human story.

God’s call for people to work and care for the world is evident throughout the Bible. For as human beings made in God’s image, part of our image-bearing nature is to work and contribute to human flourishing in ways consistent with what God has done and continues to do.

However, as servant leaders we must be aware that there are some barriers that leaders commonly face, such as having to hear a constant flow of problems and complaints from employees. Servant leaders must be aware also that work of all kinds, whether with the hands or the mind, evidences our dignity as human beings because it reflects the image of God as the creator. We must remember that work has dignity because it is something that God does daily and because we do it in God’s place as his representative.

Some followers want to hear from their leaders regular affirmations that they are doing a good job. People desire to have their contributions recognized and affirmed. The reality is that a leader’s schedule might be so full of other work demands that there isn’t enough time. They want to recognize a job well done, but sometimes celebrating one person’s work can be perceived as showing favoritism in the eyes of others.

So, as servant leaders, we must demonstrate a willingness to contribute value to the people and communities around us because our work provides the context where we invest most of our waking hours in the service of others. So Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Dr. Walter Ghosten