I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
As a servant leader, you’ve committed to always support others. Yet, you’re only human. To support other people, you must in turn be supported. In this, God’s love is an inexhaustible resource for you. And, it’s a resource that’s free.
The question is, how do you access it?
Here are steps that you can take to consistently focus and turbo-charge your journey as a servant leader. These are steps that help you — in real, concrete terms ––learn to accept and leverage God’s support for you:
Acknowledge that your connection with God must be cultivated.
Your relationship with God is like any other relationship: you get out of it what you put into it. While God’s love for you is infinite, the support that He’s able to offer you is limited by how often and how deeply you open yourself up to it. As you study Jesus’ model of servant leadership in God’s word, cultivate your openness to being held up by Him. This is true of any loving relationship, right? You have to relax and commit to opening your heart and mind to let love and support in. This cultivation can only happen if you’re intentional about it.
Commit to consistent, quality visits with God.
You can tell when people are only half-listening to you, can’t you? When they’re “dialing in” their presence at a meeting or multi-tasking while you talk on the phone with them. Now…consider how you pray. Are you “all-in” – or are you distracted and rushed? Give God a quality visit, and you’ll be amazed at how He responds and goes to work in your life. Your energy will improve, as will your ability to take the road less travelled in order to do His will.
Get creative about pouring God’s love forth in your relationships.
God’s will is for you to be a servant leader. He wants you to love Him and love others. Supporting other people is a deeply creative act! Allow yourself to tap into your creativity in how you serve the people you work with. You have an innate desire to connect with other people, build relationships with them, and draw out the best they have to offer. God built you that way, and your method of “drawing out” is unique to you. Embrace that uniqueness! Allow yourself to have fun with delighting people in how you pour forth God’s love. Remember, most people are not accustomed to a servant leadership culture. Surprise them! You will in turn be fueled by their joy.
Document your experience of pouring forth (in writing).
Buy a journal, or create a document on your desktop. Each week, document your experience in taking these steps to open up, accept, and leverage God’s love and support for you. You don’t have to write a novel; just a few sentences each week is enough. Then, review your progress. Read your own thoughts back to yourself often – aloud, if possible. Ample research has proven that reading aloud will more firmly imprint your words’ true meaning and impact in your mind.
The pace and rigor of 21st century leadership is not tailor-made for servant leadership. It’s so easy to slip back into patterns of behavior that serve you first and the people you lead second. When you do this, don’t beat yourself up. Ask for forgiveness. Then simply relax into your humanity, recommit to practicing the steps above, and reconnect with God’s infinite love and support; support that’s ready and eagerly waiting for you.
Do any of these steps resonate with your fuel source for servant leadership? I would love to hear about your fuel for your journey. Where are you stopping to fill your tank?
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2