The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
“There needs to be two of me.”
“There needs to be more hours in the day.”
How often do you say these things, or at least think them?
One of the challenges of servant leadership is learning how to scale your service. After all, servant leadership isn’t about leaving service behind as you learn to lead. It’s about expanding and deepening your service the more responsibilities you gain.
Yet — when you move from serving a few to serving hundreds and thousands, how do you keep from getting overwhelmed?
The answer is straightforward: multiply the number of servant leaders in your life! Build up the people around you so that they, too, experience the awakened heart and aptitude for service. Get more hands on deck. Do this. Scale your service through equipping others to serve alongside you.
Here are five practices to help you cultivate servant leaders within your sphere of influence:
Leverage your servant purpose filter.
You want to relieve your sense of overwhelm through building more servant leaders. Consider, is every decision you make every day focused on this goal?
Or, do you take shortcuts, doing things yourself instead of coaching others to lead, because it feels easier and quicker?
You can change this. You have the strongest filter imaginable to help you focus your energies on multiplying servant leaders: your servant purpose. Through gaining detailed understanding of your purpose, you can see exactly how to support others to step up, serve, and fulfill their God-given potential.
Model work/life balance.
Which do you think people are more likely to want to emulate: a leader who works all the time and finds no joy outside of work, or a leader who works hard, but knows when to quit for the day, go home, and relax?
If you want to attract people to the concept of servant leadership, you’ve got to make it look satisfying! People who do nothing but work are clearly not satisfied with what they’re accomplishing. Otherwise, they’d feel comfortable saying, “that’s enough for now.”
This isn’t true of you. You take great satisfaction in serving others. At the end of your workday, you feel spiritually rich. Let people see that. Don’t let feeling overwhelmed force you into a pattern of overwork. That’s bad marketing for servant leadership!
Be consistent about your 1:1 meetings.
I can’t say enough about the importance of holding regular 1:1 meetings with the people in your life, both at work and at home. These meetings provide your deepest opportunity to build people up for servant leadership.
Practice extreme self-care.
Your mind, your body, and your spirit. How vibrant is your connection between these three things? Your feelings of overwhelm will decrease as you increase your mental, physical, and spiritual health. I can promise you this from my own personal experience, and from the experiences of dozens of my coaching clients.
Start small. Commit to one tiny, positive shift. Then, stick with it. Current research tells us it takes at least 30 days (and probably closer to 60 days) to form a habit. Don’t try to improve everything at once. Turn your attention to your weakest link in the mind-body-spirit connection, and start there.
Lean on Jesus.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. (Matthew 9:38)
You want more people by your side who have the heart and aptitude for service. Are you asking Jesus to send those people to you, and ripen their spirits for your mentorship?
The Lord wants to support you to multiply servant leaders. He knows in great detail how people change through serving and being served. Lean on His insight. Make time to go to God in prayer, with receptive ears.
Which of the practices above does He need you to take so that you more effectively multiply servant leaders?
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Great tip on ‘ Don’t try to improve everything at once. ‘ So often we try to do to much at once. However when we take ‘baby steps’ one at a time then we can really have a lasting effect with positive changes. (PS. I’m very thankful God works on us with one thing at a time too, otherwise we would be so overwhelmed by all the good changes He wants to do in our life)
Great points Tim! Thanks!
The more I read about servant leadership, the higher my inspiration to see it become the fabric of organizations around the world. Our workplace culture is a product of what we practice as individuals. Putting into practice what you teach in your courses, seminars, and blog are good resources for learning and modeling servant leadership. I like the word scale because it indicates that the process is gradual, and hopefully growing.
Thanks Jane! I so appreciate your heart and passion for servant leadership and your desire to spread the message across the world! It is definitely one step at a time, one leader at a time. Jesus showed us how to multiply, and doing so will make our world a better place. Thanks for all you do in making that happen! Blessings on your week.