My wife and I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas in a quiet fashion this year. Both our boys and their families were at in-laws so we were on our own. This provided an opportunity to really reflect on the leadership lessons of Christmas.

I am overwhelmed at the love that was within God to send (sacrifice) his only son down to earth. Think about that. We feel it is a sacrifice to allow our children to be with in-laws at Christmas. God sent his son away from the perfection and bliss in heaven to come down to this sin-ridden earth to save us from our life of sin while providing us a model for servant leadership.

Here are some of my take-aways from Christmas morning and questions on servant leadership it leaves for me as I head into 2016:

  1. Jesus was not intimidated by the unfavorable conditions on earth. He made a humble entry and jumped right into our filth being born in a dirty manger.
    • Am I jumping in to help others, no matter the circumstances? Am I looking outside of my comfort zone on where to serve?
  2. God doesn’t always provide the exact blueprint with step-by-step instructions. Mary and Joseph were not provided all the details of what was going on. But they were obedient to the information they had, and knew that with God all things are possible even beyond what our eyes may see.
    • Am I trusting in God and moving forward with His plans for me, even though I might not have all the finite details?
  3. Joseph was in a precarious situation. Pregnant fiancé and the child was not his. However he showed major character by following the direction of the angel.
    • Am I worried about what others might outwardly think or am I focused on building my internal character as a servant leader?
  4. There was no room in the inn. That however did not deter Mary and Joseph. They improvised and overcame.
    • Will I back down when people say “We can’t do that” or “This is how we have always done it in the past”? Or will I continue to be relentless on driving improvement knowing that with God all things are possible?
  5. The shepherds recognized this great gift of Jesus was for them. They were some of the lowest class people of that time. Jesus came for everyone!
    • Will I look for how I can serve everyone, not just those that think like me and are easy to serve?
  6. The wise men were diligent in seeking God and following the light.
    • Will I consistently stay in communication with God, and follow His direction for my life in serving others?

Moving into 2016, what is my response to Christmas, and this amazing gift of Jesus? This week of reflection made me want to re-dedicate my life to becoming a better servant leader and spreading the word on the importance and profound impact that servant leadership can have in this world.

Will you join me? Will you be relentless in your efforts, and intentionally get after looking to Jesus as the model for how we should lead?

Mark Deterding

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22