What can leaders learn from Advent, the season of preparation of the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior? Just as Jesus birth revolutionized and changed the world, servant leaders can also significantly impact the culture in which they live and operate.

We are currently seeing people all over the globe trying to take back the world, as they feel it is God’s calling on their life to do so. Extremists from every religion have been in the news, as they feel that you can take back the world through protest, violence, and other extreme measures.

God does want us to take back the world and positively impact people. Violence against others, however, is not the model that He used. Motivated by compassion and love, He sent his Son to show us how to make a significant positive impact on others and change the world.

Time after time in Jesus’ life He was motivated by compassion and love to make a positive impact. Think about the feeding of the 5000, the many healings that He performed, and ultimately the sacrifice of his own life for the benefit of everyone. He changed the world with grace.

Servant leaders can change the world by taking their specific culture back as well with grace, love, and compassion.

Our natural tendencies, as we read about in the news everyday, are to respond to issues by:

  • Showing a lack of respect
  • Not listening
  • Acting out in violence
  • Not forgiving others
  • Puffing up with pride, thinking it is all about me

If we follow Jesus’ example on how to lead we:

  • Show people a deep level of mutual respect and trust
  • Listen to gain an understanding of needs and how we can help
  • Show compassion and love to people at every interaction
  • Forgive when we are betrayed and things don’t go just right
  • Show up as a humble leader, always thinking about the greater good of others, not our self

The problems in the world today seem monumental. They feel so big we question if we can make a difference. But every leader has the ability to impact their culture within their sphere of influence. You can make a difference!

So as we start this Advent Season of 2015 what will our response be to Jesus model for our leadership? This is a time for great reflection as we prepare for his coming. Jesus says: “Follow me.” He says, “Love one another, as I have loved you”. Are you in?

Mark Deterding

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:44