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Leadership in Context Episode 93 Show Notes

The Essence of Leadership

Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci

Episode 093

Let’s talk about the essence, the substance, the character, the heart of true Christian leadership.

I really like the terminology of SERVANT LEADERSHIP. It seems to really quantify and qualify something. What does that look like? Why is it so important?


We are not serving ourselves. One of the greatest criticisms against leaders, is that they are doing things just for the benefit and recognition of themselves. Servant leadership and serving yourself are contradictory terms. Being a servant leader is about others, not oneself. Servant leadership denotes that serving yourself is not an option. 

When you are a true servant leader, you don’t have to be shy about asking people to do something because you are doing that same thing. And if something is worth doing, then it is worth inviting other people to do it with you. A servant leader is not apologetic about asking people to follow. Being a servant leader doesn’t mean you don’t have an agenda; it just means that the agenda is not about you.

We are not under our own authority. The authority comes because you are serving. That is a key theological concept and a cornerstone of a Christian worldview—all authority is delegated. When we cease to be servants, we are null and void in any authority that we have.

Being a leader is what we do. Being a servant is who we are.

Servant leadership is first and foremost about serving God, not about serving people. A person who is trying to serve people first, as humanly tender as that may be, is not going to affect the Kingdom. I have authority because I am submitted to God and a servant of God. I’m inviting people, not just to serve me, but inviting them to serve the Lord WITH me. I have boldness in that initiative because I’m confident that what I am doing is under God’s delegated authority.

If you really have a heart to serve God, that heart of serving will yield Kingdom connection with people. There are people with a heart for people, but they don’t necessarily have a heart for serving God; therefore, they are not going to do what God says or operate under God’s authority. They are not going to make hard decisions, not going to say “no” to people. They are not going to be as direct as they need to be, because they are going to be looking at the faces in the crowd instead of God on the throne. 

I am a servant of God TO the people, not a servant of the people. I am a servant of God to the people; therefore, I serve the people. Because I’m a servant of God, I serve people because that is what God does through us. This protects us from being human-based or need-based and gives us the ability to do the right things, even when people disagree with us, because we are servants of God. 

This is not situational, it’s eternal. This is not pragmatic, it’s Truthful. This gives us the ability, as servants of God, to say boldly and clearly, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” 

There is a critical difference in natural leadership and godly, Christian leadership: When we are serving people, we are not just meeting a need, but inviting them to serve. The majority of people that we serve can serve in some way. What they reap, they can sow in some demonstrative way. As we serve and care for them, we encourage them to join the team. 

Christian servant leadership has with it the idea of not just serving people, but teaching people we are serving to serve other people. It’s a full circle.

The 180-degree truth is that part of Christian servant leadership says, “I’m going to do it as unto the Lord, even if there is no reciprocation.” Whatever we do is unto the Lord, whether or not we can or cannot get those we serve to serve others. They might not have the ability in the now to do something. We still serve them. But our overall view is that we are serving everyone so they can multiply, learn to serve, and go to the next level.

Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!

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