Head Servant or Servant Leadership?


I have a problem with servant leadership or maybe just the way it is taught. I am taught to be a servant leader at church and at the corporation I work for. In the corporate world this concept works quite well the way it is taught. But the majority of what I hear from the pulpits, preached online and taught in christian books doesn’t work. The difference I see is the over emphasis on serving when teaching christian men. In the corporate setting the hierarchy is clear. You know your boss and generally speaking you know you will be held accountable if you are not doing your job. Your boss serves you by removing obstacles that would prevent you from doing your job or providing training to help you navigate those challenges your self. A good boss wants to see you grow and flourish in your role. Part of the way the do this is by reviewing your performance, rewarding the positives as well as coming up with a plan to address weaknesses and shortcomings.

I have had good bosses, self proclaiming christian men even that do this at work but at home they call her the boss, they do what she says and rarely hold her accountable. This is not right. We are called to be the head servant to our family.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. I Corinthians 11:1-3


It is expected that a head servant be a faithful and wise manager holding those in subjection to him accountable even as he is accountable to his master.

 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.  Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.  But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk,  the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful.  
And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating.  But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. Luke 12:42-48
To me, thinking of myself as the head servant works far better to aligning my thoughts to be a godly husband and father than the idea of being a servant leader.

Author: old-fashioned-man

I am a follower of Jesus Christ who has been married since 1989. We had four boys then adopted siblings, a boy and girl from foster care in 2008 when my daughter was seven and my son was eight. We reside in the beautiful state of Colorado.

One thought on “Head Servant or Servant Leadership?”

  1. this little bitty church we’ve been going to has a worship service and one adult sunday school. i don’t remember what the topic was, but somehow my question fit. i asked (from Eph 5, knowing they would get it wrong), “How did Christ love the church?” the men, including the seminary trained teacher, immediately replied, “He sacrificed Himself for her on the cross.”

    i nodded and asked, “How else did He love the church?” after a few blank stares, i said, “He purified her in the fire, He pruned her, He disciplined her . . .” by then they were bug-eyed with bobbing heads. and their wives were reacting.

    the teacher came up to me after class and thanked me. i reminded him of gen 3:16 where men are told to rule over their wives, and i asked him when was the last time they taught men how to rule in church? of course the answer was never. i suggested that if they want to bring men into church, they need to teach them how to be physically strong, mentally strong, and spiritually strong, so they can then teach them how to rule over their worlds.

    a great leader is by default a ‘servant’ b/c it takes incredible sacrifice to lead well. but not all servants are great, or even good, leaders.


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