Four Indispensable Attributes of Servant-Leaders In The Kingdom Of God

By Modise Moloi


It takes a transformed attitude to be a servant leader because naturally every person enjoys to be served by others than to serve humanity. It is not surprising that many leaders are concerned about positions of leadership more than the responsibility that comes with such positions. Every position of leadership is attached to some specific job description which is basically to serve a particular constituency with your set of skills. However, having certain leadership skills is not sufficient for kingdom leadership. In the kingdom of God it is important that every leader need to possess attributes of servant-leaders.


  1. 1.    Servant Leaders Are Vision Driven


In Proverbs 29:18, it is recorded that where there is no visions people perish. This verse expresses the significance of vision driven leadership. The key motivation of servant leaders is to focus on the greater common vision and the realisation of the God-given vision which is greater than a personal goal of fame and riches. Servant-leaders always see the bigger picture which is a God-given vision and they do not serve out of compulsion but intention and purpose. Nehemiah’s vision was to rebuild the walls, Moses’s vision was to deliver the Israelites from Egypt, Esther’s vision was to preserve the Jews and Paul’s vision was to take the message of the salvation to the gentiles. These fellows were able to sacrifice their comfort zones because of the bigger picture which was God-given vision and mandate.


The God-given vision cannot be fulfilled by one man within his lifetime but can be fulfilled corporately by people with different graces, skills and expertise. In Habakkuk 2:2, there are there are three key people who play a vital role towards the fulfillment of a vision who are the Writer of A Vision, the Reader of A Vision and the Runner With A Vision. A servant leader understands his/her role in a God-given vision which is to write a vision plain on tablets. The focal point of the servant leaders is fulfilling the vision that God has given to them.


  1. 2.    Servant Leaders Are Selfless


The fundamental characteristic of a servant leader is to be selfless as opposed to be self-centered or egocentric. The self-centered leaders are seen by loving uppermost rooms in events or feasts, they do things to be seen or praised by people, they love salutations in the marketplace, they lack integrity and they love to be called Rabbis or with their tittles. In Matthew 21:1-12, the Lord Jesus has strappingly condemned this behaviour of and described it as hypocrisy in higher grade.


Servant leaders are sold out to the God-given vision to the extent that they are willing to sacrifice their resources for the attainment of a greater destiny. They have learnt that leadership does not orbit around their names and their personal needs. Servant-leaders lead a sacrificial lifestyle by putting other people’s and kingdom priorities ahead of their personal agenda. The selfless leaders appreciate an opportunity to serve without asking the foreign question of “what is in for me”.


  1. 3.    Servants Leaders Are Humble


This is an attitude and acknowledgment by servant leaders that they are not omniscient, omnipresent and omniscient. The true measure of servant leaders is their state of humility particularly when they have recorded a number of achievements in leadership space and life in general. Humility is not lamenting how low you are or being a fool, it is about elevating other people and investing in others for a greater purpose and destiny.


According to Matthew 18:4, a people are considered great when they are humble. Every leader need to learn how to imitate the humility of Jesus who is the ultimate epitome of servant-leadership. Humility is not a forced character but is a choice that every person including those in leadership positions has to make (Luke14:11). The danger of being proud or exalting oneself is an open invitation of disgrace and dishonour (Luke 18:14; Proverbs 18:12; Proverbs15:33; Proverbs 29:23 and James 4:6). Servant-leaders are humble because they know that they will be given grace, honour and exaltation.Servant-Leaders have a clear understanding that the kingdom of God belongs to God not them and they are just stewards.


  1. 4.    Servant Leaders Are TEAM Builders


It is very interesting that most of the great servant-leaders in the bible were not lone rangers but worked with teams. It is interesting to see that Jesus had a team of twelve Apostles, Moses had a team of 70 elders, Nehemiah and the builders of the gates and walls and Elijah had the company of the sons of the prophets. The lesson from all these legendary bible leaders is that if you want to achieve good results do anything alone but if you want to achieve extraordinary and life changing results work with other people.


There is a common acronym used for the T.E.A.M which means Together Each Achieves More. Servant-leader always finds an opportunity to appreciate his/her team members because nothing great can be achieved without the contribution and effort of other people. Hence, a servant leadership language is not about “I” but orbits around “We or Us”. The attitude of being a team builder is recognition that one needs the strengths of others to be supported where one is weak for the sake of the common destiny.


In conclusion, all leaders should strive to develop these four attributes of servant leadership against all odds. These attributes are able to separate the authentic leaders and those who view leadership as an opportunity of fame and personal glory. The centrality of kingdom leadership is in serving God’s purpose in our generation not our personal ambitions and goals. Anyone that thinks that being in leadership is about them will never embrace these attributes. God is not looking for leaders but servants.