EP 152 – Servant Leadership Part 1
The boys are back at it again. This week Bob and JimBo are dipping their toes into a discussion about servant leadership. Stick around next week and they will dive even further in with the help of Bob Bumgarner.
- Jesus came to serve – not to be served
- As elders, pastors, and leaders we have been called to serve – to equip – to honor God and others
- Robert Greenleaf writes “The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant – first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test is: Do the served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous more likely to become servants.”
- In his book, The Servant, James C Hunter defines servant leadership as “The skill of influencing people to work enthusiastically toward goals identified as being for the common good.”
- Hunter says we lean toward power or authority in our leadership
- POWER – “The ability to force or coerce someone to do your will, even if they choose not to, because of your position and might.”
- AUTHORITY – “The skill of getting people to willingly do your will because of your personal influence.”
- Hunter says we lean toward power or authority in our leadership
- Three questions we should ask ourselves
- Person – Who is God shaping me to be?
- People – How am I leading those God has given me to lead?
- Purpose – What is God calling me to do?
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JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Here we are back at the bootcamp, Bob. I hope you’re ready for the next episode. I have been all over the place being Mr. Dad, Mr. Mom and Mr. Chauffer. Since the last episode my wife has, tragically broken her foot, in at least one place, if not two places, we’re still waiting to see. and so.
When you break a bone, Bob, everybody asks, well, how did you do it? How did that
Bob Bickford: No.
JimBo Stewart: So my wife was at rehearsal. She’s supposed to be in a play this week of Percy Jackson. And she’s been working really hard for a long time, very excited to be in it. And it’s literally as simple as this, she was standing there.
Her knee popped outta socket and she turned and broke her foot. That’s it. That’s the whole story.
Bob Bickford: Man. That’s a, that’s a story that is, I mean, that’s a story in and of itself right there.
JimBo Stewart: yeah.
Bob Bickford: Usually it’s, you know, I was climbing a mountain, I was para sailing. I was hand Glo. I was, you know, I was, you [00:01:00] know, doing an Ollie on the skateboard, you know, whatever, or kick Jimbo, you know, one of those, you know, but, well, I, I think the bigger question is how’s she doing now?
How’s she? Is she right?
JimBo Stewart: She’s doing much better now. it was kind of a hard start there at first. We took her to the doctor and they put a knee brace on her to protect her knee from coming outta place and a boot on her foot to protect her foot till she can see an orthopedic surgeon. And, it was like her knee got worse and just like they have, you know, they put this knee brace on.
That’s supposed to keep your knee from popping outta place. Like that’s this whole design and it’s. Infinitely worse. Like our knee popped outta place, like seven times in a matter of like 12 hours. And it’s excruciatingly painful every time that happens. And so that’s starting to freak me out. Cause I’m thinking if your knee’s popping out with a medical device, literally designed by medical professionals to keep this thing from happening and now it’s happening, something’s wrong and my assumption was something’s very wrong with your knee.
I didn’t look [00:02:00] at the problem correctly. We talked to the doctor, the nurse had put the knee brace on upside.
Bob Bickford: all right. 1-800-INJURED. wife.com like go there right now. I think a big settlement is coming your.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah something. Yeah, man, we gotta figure that. But now that she’s got the brace on correctly, she’s doing much better. So she’ll see an orthopedic surgeon, later this week and we will know more information.
Bob Bickford: well, I’m sorry that that happened to Andrea and, uh, that’s a tough, tough go. And I’m sure it, it complicates life for you a little bit because you’re, you’re the sole driver. Meal maker, laundry dude, chief bottle washer, et cetera
JimBo Stewart: Um, the whole, yeah, the whole thing, man.
Bob Bickford: in addition to carrying this podcast on your back, I mean, I just want, thank you for all you’re doing for the us and the bootcamp in [00:03:00] life and, well wishes to you, Jimbo and Andrea.
JimBo Stewart: Well, good man. Hey, a couple updates on the podcast for our listeners that I want you guys to know about. one, speaking, overlooking things. We overlooked the fact that we did not have a search bar on our website. And so we called up our good buddy, at 180 1 good buddies at 180 digital and they fixed it real quick.
So now you can go to replant bootcamp.com and you can click whatever you want in that search bar. Like not only like, Hey, is there a specific topic that they’ve addressed specific guests that maybe they’ve had on that I want to know about, but we’ve often talked a lot about other important things like restaurants you should visit when you go to certain cities and, and you may, you may remember, like there was something called brothers tacos.
What city was that in? And then you can search that and it’s
Bob Bickford: we should do some trivia. We, we need to do some contests in trivia. I mean, Um, I’d like to suggest a few, search terms, the number one search term that I would like to suggest is chainsaw,
JimBo Stewart: [00:04:00] Chain
Bob Bickford: chainsaw. Yeah. egg and a hole,
I think would be second one that I would say,
JimBo Stewart: Uhhuh.
Bob Bickford: and tractors, those would be three that I would contribute at this point, Jim.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. Yeah. Put those in. See what you find when you listen to those episodes. Here’s the second update. I want to give everybody on the podcast recording platform that we utilize called squad. There is now an opportunity for us to do something called backstage. which means that when we record this, we could put a link out there where our listeners could join us live and enter.
They could enter stuff into the chat room and things like that. And we could make it a little more interactive. I’m not saying we’re gonna do that every week, but just be on the lookout for when we decide one day. We’ve got the right topic. the right thing, like the one problem, the one solution to solve all your problems, podcast episode that will market it out there in such a way that will get people on.
And we’d love [00:05:00] to just be on the lookout. That’s gonna come one day where we’re gonna be inviting you to listen in live while we record.
Bob Bickford: And, uh, Jimbo. I’m a little disappointed. We’re not putting that by behind a paywall. Are we behind
JimBo Stewart: no, no, no, no.
Bob Bickford: Concerned there for a minute.
JimBo Stewart: Well, Hey, look, let’s dive into the topic for today. I wanna talk to you, the listeners about the importance of servant leadership. and today it seems like good leadership is really being questioned as to what that even means. Right? So I think for a long time, Even though we all wanted leaders with good character and integrity and with the right motivations, the prevailing kind of view of what a good leader is, has been determined almost entirely on their ability to get results and particularly results that are.
Easily measured, numerically. Right? So how, how good are you [00:06:00] at drawing a crowd? How good are you at, uh, fundraising? How good are you at getting, a social media of following? How good are you at some of those things? And we’ve talked about this a little bit with platform versus. Table leadership. But as we talk about, even, even in the platform part, cuz I wanna make sure we don’t, we’re not demonizing platform ministry.
We’re saying platform, ministry has its place. and it’s not the entirety of leadership, but even in platform, what does it look like in both of those to be a servant leader?
Bob Bickford: Mm-hmm I think that’s good. Jimbo. I think too many times we are, prone to swing to one side of the pendulum. You know, the pendulum swings one side all the way or the other. And I think what. What we are trying to dis to, uh, stress is the necessity for being, being a fully developed leader that exhibits through the spirit models, your leadership after Christ, et cetera.
And that’s the challenge, right? And I think [00:07:00] sometimes when we take those surveys, It’s easy for us to go, well, I’m all of this or I’m none of that. And too many times we let a, we let a manmade survey just kind of dictate to us an excuse for operating a certain way as a leader. So I’m glad you’re bringing this topic up and I think it’s gonna be helpful for the guys.
JimBo Stewart: Well, I think we have to, I mean, we have to recognize, right. Even. came to serve. You look at the famous kenosis passage of Philippians two. You look at even what he said. He said that the son of man came to serve, not to be served. And you look at the passages about what it means to be an elder, a pastor, a Bishop overseer, whatever term you decide to use there.
We’ve been called to serve and love and honor God, and honor others. As we lead.
Bob Bickford: Yeah. And specifically the Philippians passage says have this mind in you that was in Christ Jesus. And so I think that’s really key for us is developing the mind and the heart and the actions of a servant leader really are. first and foremost, the biblical call that we have, and then this really is the most effective way to [00:08:00] lead a congregation forward.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. So there’s a lot of people who have written about servant leadership. I’ve gotten to learn a lot about it under the tutelage of Rick Wheeler and Bob Bumgarner. Uh, the two AMS I’ve gotten to serve under here in Jacksonville, both of them love to talk about servant leadership lead like Jesus. Robert Greenleaf wrote, the servant leader is servant first.
It begins with a natural feeling that one wants to serve. The conscious choice brings one, brings one to aspire to. The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. And I love this part of this quote, the best test as if of your, if you’re being a servant leader, the best test is do those that you’re serving grow as persons.
Do they, while being served. Become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, and more likely to become [00:09:00] servants. That’s that’s how you know it’s. So I love that. Look of not just what are your characteristics of a leader, but what is it, what are the people you’re leading? How do, like, how is that fruit playing out in their lives is the best test of if you’re a servant leader.
Bob Bickford: Most definitely. And I, I think if you’re in a position of leadership long enough, you, you know, old axioms as you reproduce who you are, not what you aspire to, but what you actually are. And so if you’ve been part of an organization where the. A servant leader is leading and discipling. Then his, his church, his organization, his company, his family, they’re all gonna model that.
They’re all gonna embody that. And, and I think it’s really, it’s a great quote that just gets us down to and what am I producing? What am I. We’re actually seeing in terms of freedom ministry. And here’s what I wanna say to the rep planter, man, give yourself some time, right? The disciples that, were made decades before you got there.
If they’re not servant leaders, it ain’t gonna happen in a year. [00:10:00] Right. and particularly it might not ever happen in some of their lives. It might only happen with the new folks that you bring in. So I wanna give some guys a little bit of space and a little bit of grace too, to, to evaluate their leadership with a long view and, just a sense of patience as they cultivate a different type of culture and a different type of leader in their context and in their church.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I think, I think patience is so key. I think that even plays out the patience and long term view plays out in the immediate, by not being in a
Bob Bickford: Yeah.
JimBo Stewart: there’s lots of great books about that. you know, the unhurried leader. and unhurried life and all those sorts of things, but that idea, you know, ruthless elimination of hu John mark comer.
This idea of, of hurry is this urgency as if everything is up to you and that’s a that’s. That’s a temptation as a leader to feel like, especially in a replant where you may be the only one taking initiative to lead for a while. it, [00:11:00] really starts to feel like, man, this is all on me. And, and so I have to hurry and, and get things done.
man, if you look at the timelines in the Bible, God never gets in a hurry.
Bob Bickford: Nope.
JimBo Stewart: And this, this is just be patient plot along. Get it done.
Bob Bickford: Yeah cycles. If we just looked at numbers in the Bible seven years, 40 years, 80 years, 120 years, you know, those sorts of things. I, I think that is a, there’s a different pace. Absolutely. And obviously in scripture, and I would say this permission to make a sports analogy, gemba.
JimBo Stewart: Come on, do it
Bob Bickford: All right. So we’re, we’re right around the corner from football season.
And so you’re, uh, you’re pulling for your tigers. I’m pulling for the Razorbacks. I am, uh, I’m hopeful for the Cowboys, but I am a fair weather knee jerk fan for the Cowboys. If, they throw one interception, the super bowl is lost, right? It’s over. It’s just the way its, I’ll be pulling for the chiefs as well, you know, but I think sometimes a three yard gain is just as strategic as a 15 yard gain.
In the sense of, if you take somebody [00:12:00] who’s a full back, a full back doesn’t catch an 80 yard pass down the field, right. they just don’t it’s not who they are. What do they. Well, I get a three yard gain right up the middle. Maybe gets a first down. Maybe it gets some to the goal line. And I think some of our replants and our revitalization, a, a succession of three yard gains is probably a really good thing.
Right. And if you’re in football and you get four, three yard gains, you know what you have Jimbo,
JimBo Stewart: what do you have?
you got a first down.
Bob Bickford: You gotta push down.
you know, so
there you go. Right. Just move the chains. And, and so I think some guys may just, just focus on it are the people this year, a little bit more like Jesus than they were last year.
JimBo Stewart: So when you say, just move those chains, is that what Chris Tomlin meant when he added that line to amazing grace? That.
Bob Bickford: my chains are gone. I’ve been except. what he meant Jimbo. He.[00:13:00]
JimBo Stewart: All right. Let’s move on. Let’s move on. All right. Look, another book that talked about servant leadership, is James C. Hunter, called, has a book called the, servant he defines servant leadership as the skill of influencing people. To work enthusiastically toward goals identified as being for the common good.
and hunter goes on to say that we, we really in leadership usually lean towards getting people to do things either through our own power or through authority. And that it, we need to, we need to lean away from trying to do things in our own power, but in authority, that of the authority of the Lord.
And so here’s, here’s. Distinguishes those, he, he defines power in leadership as the ability to force or coerce someone to do your will, even if they choose not to because of your position and might. And so it’s the, because I said so, [00:14:00] right. It’s the, I’m your boss. I told you to do it. You just gotta do it.
Authority is the skill of getting people to willingly do your will because of your personal influence in their life. And, and so leaning more towards that authority side than power
Bob Bickford: Yeah, we, we see this dynamic all the time and especially in the church, we want to be people of influence, I think,
JimBo Stewart: mm-hmm and
Bob Bickford: you can influence people through power, but you don’t get lasting. Results that way
only when only when the power is present. Do you get the people to.
So I think the authority is using that position that God has given you.
And, and we believe that God has called men to serve the church and he’s equipped them. And if they’ve been, tested and they’re. Vetted and they have the qualities of an overseer, an elder. Then they have the opportunity to use the authority that comes with that office to influence people for good.
Right. So that, uh, [00:15:00] people will, and I think the keyword that, that is used there is willingly, right? Not grudgingly, not because they have to. And I think we’ve, we experienced this everywhere we work and, and, you know, growing up and all your jobs and all your. Vocational experiences. And even some of your church experiences, the best ones are where people are there and they’re they’re there because they wanna willingly be part of the mission to meet the objective right now in an employee sense, you know, there’s some compensation evolve, so you get a lot of willingness with the paycheck, but.
We work in a much more complicated situation with volunteers who, are church members who have a responsibility to their body, but they don’t have an obligation in terms of the same sense that like an employee does. So
JimBo Stewart: Yeah.
Bob Bickford: we have to use influence and, and I think that distinction’s very important.
JimBo Stewart: I think about the episode where, I talked about the lady that was real upset in a business meeting. And so I went to her house, brought her some donuts because [00:16:00] she loved donuts and, sat at her table and just listened to her for a while and wrote down every issue that she had. And, and then at the end, I.
because she had, she had acted in a behavior in a meeting that really was, was not okay. Uh, after hearing her, I, I said to her, cuz I was pretty news pastor and I’m, I was, I’m fairly young, uh, younger than her like grandson. And so I, I, I looked at her, I said, Hey, would you allow me now to speak to you as some pastoral authority?
now I could have used the power that I have as pastor and just could have like, you know, nailed her, like, Hey, you showed your tail in that meeting and, and just like, let her have. but using now, and that’s not my wisdom, I was coached well, to do that, if you want, if you wanna hear that story, you can use our fancy new search bar.
And if you just search donuts, I bet you that that episode will come up and so search donuts, and you can go listen to that, but it there’s, there’s [00:17:00] so much more you can accomplish. For good using that authority correctly, then just leaning into the power, dropping the pastor card, you know, Hey, I’m the pastor.
You gotta do what I say,
Bob Bickford: Yeah, I think there’s false more. There’s a false, excuse me, Jim, I’m having a hard time talking today. There is a force multiplier that needs to be, acknowledged in this brief story that you have just told, and that is donuts. Donuts are a force multiplier, bring donuts to a meeting and you got some force that’s gonna be multiplied.
JimBo Stewart: I love it. Hey, three questions to ask yourself as you’re leading. and so part of this, I got from a presentation by Bob Bumgarner on servant leadership. Three questions to ask yourself as a person ask who is God shaping me to be? I think it’s a really important question and we can unpack these here in a second.
For the people that I’m leading, how [00:18:00] am I leading those? God has given me to lead and then three purpose. What is God calling me to do? And I wanna unpack those for just a minute. The, the idea of who is God shaping me to be, we’ve talked about this a lot of times, Bob. Sometimes, especially in hard, we’ve talked, we’ve talked about in reference, especially to hard times of, of asking what is the Lord trying to sanctify in me through this hard season as I’m going through this difficulty, but even in the good times, like, what is it in all that we’re doing?
I think it’s a, it’s important, not just to see. The task ahead of us as a to-do list or an action list or a strategy, let me punch these, you know, punch list. Let me, let me get this stuff done. Let me, let me accomplish results. It’s the, it’s the old, it’s the old, uh, are you, are you using people to build great programs are using programs to build people, and, just even asking, not only of them, but now you’re asking of.
Am I doing this so I can be [00:19:00] numerically successful so I can feel validated in my work, uh, find my identity there. Or how is, how is God shaping me? How is God using this sermon I’m writing? How is God using this leadership effort? How is God using these things that are easy to celebrate, to shape me to become more like.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, I, I think that is. An important question. And so I’m, I wanna, I’m wrestling with sort of a, a clarification or distinction maybe, perhaps. cause I, I think, um, I have worked at, uh, a church on a large staff and O and have the responsibility to oversee a lot of folks. And one of the things that was, uh, said often is we, we, um, We use ministry to get people [00:20:00] done.
We don’t use people to get ministry done. Right. So there was kind of this, this distinction a little bit, but I think what actually was meant by the phrase, you know, we use ministry to get people done was, was an unhealthy employment, an assignment that was, of a particular nature that I don’t think necessarily had a.
Sort of a divine sanctifying mission other than this was what I think should be done. And so I’m going to, this is what I think should happen in this person’s life. And so I’m gonna put this person in this thing, in this activity in order to produce what I think needs to be done in their life now. I, I want to be cautious in saying I do believe that God calls us as leaders to, uh, to to strategize and pray together and to think through with others. what can [00:21:00] we do together in terms of ministry to accomplish the mission that God has given us here
and to do it in a way that brings glory and honor to him that that is something that’s completely different than I think this needs to happen in this person’s life. And so I’m gonna create this thing to make this happen in their life.
Does, does, are, am I making sense? Am I kind of making the distinction here a little bit? I just wanna be clear on that.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I think I’m kind of tracking with you. I mean, it feels like somewhat the same idea there of, I think the thing we’re trying to avoid is, seeing people as commodities. depersonalizing, right? where, you know, it’s the old, um, I say old it’s, it’s the quote that kept coming up in the Mars hill podcast, the rise fall of Mars hill of, you can either get on [00:22:00] the bus or you can get run over by the bus
Bob Bickford: Yeah.
JimBo Stewart: and, the, you know, the, and, and, you know, Driscoll says the whatever of dead bodies behind the bus
Bob Bickford: There’s a high body count,
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, the high body like servant leaders are never gonna be okay with a body count, right? Like a servant leader cares less about the perceived successfulness of their programs and cares more about the spiritual development and health of the people they’re leading.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, I agree. And I think you have to have a, you gotta have a clear definition, a BI clear biblical definition of what health spiritual health looks like and spiritual maturity looks like. And I think the, the challenge in, in some of what we’ve seen in the past history of, you know, big blowups or big downfalls of, of some of the, the more prominent churches is, is it seems [00:23:00] like the mission.
Is just to get the ministry that they’ve defined done, and it doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter what the cost is to the people that are doing it. And so I think what we’re saying is you’ve got a call to develop people towards maturity and Christ likeness and do that in a way that creates wholeness and health.
And you know, all of that stuff that would be a blessing to, to their life rather than just get some ministry that you’ve designed.
And, And, I think what I would add to that too, is, I think there’s a level of, there needs to be a level of humility when we look at somebody in our congregation and say, I know, I know exactly what needs to happen and occur in their heart and their life.
I wanna be careful in saying that,
but I also want to have, some maturity and base my observations on. The fruit of the spirit, right? [00:24:00] And if there’s, if there’s not love, if there’s not joy, peace, patience, um, gentleness, kindness, self control, all those sorts of things. Then we have a conversation, a longer conversation, and then I think helping to, uh, encourage them to develop those things, uh, in situations where the Lord would, would lead them to engage, I think would be important.
So I think there’s a little bit of a distinction there, and I don’t know if I’m, I don’t feel like I’m speaking with it with great clarity, but I hope I hope people can read between the lines and kind of hear what I’m saying.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I think so what I’m hearing you say is don’t assume that you are the sole authority on exactly how someone needs to be developed.
Bob Bickford: Sure.
JimBo Stewart: Is that along the lines of what you’re saying?
Bob Bickford: Yeah. And, and secondarily don’t. Don’t design or assign a program specifically to them based on your [00:25:00] assumption alone.
JimBo Stewart: Hmm.
Bob Bickford: So I think that’s where I would, would want to be careful.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I think that goes, I mean, it’s one of the things we’ve talk about on here a lot. And I think it’s so important. I, the idea of shared leadership, not just plural, not just plurality of, of leadership, cuz plurality of leadership is super important. But even beyond that top level of plurality of leaders like sharing leadership amongst others, It’s we have to move away from, I mean, it’s, it’s the slogan right now of the association where I serve don’t pastor alone.
And, and one of the things we talk about is don’t pastor alone goes a lot of directions, right? Don’t pastor alone means you need some friends that. Uh, that are pastors that are gonna walk this with you as, as brothers, as mentors, as mentees, like that needs to go all those directions, but it also needs to go.
And that you’re not the sole authority at your church on everything. you need to lead well within the context that [00:26:00] you have and, and you most likely God has not given you such a supernatural gifted discernment that you can immediately determine. What everybody needs. Uh, and so that goes to the, to the other questions of how am I leading them?
Am I leading them in a way that, that follows the characteristics of Christ, the fruit of the spirit? Am I, am I leading them in a way that, that looks like I’m walking in love that I’m. Truthing and love that I am living that out in such a way that it helps people know Jesus better and fall more and love with Jesus.
And then what is it that God’s calling me to do? Hey, I think we’ll probably unpack this more over, uh, another episode or two, but, uh, think about in this as, as a boot camper, man, how are you? What is it God’s calling you to do, and how is God using this to shape you as a leader to become more like Jesus, cuz that’s what really matters more than everything else.