Servant Leadership in the Life of Jesus

  • Steven Crowther
Part of the Christian Faith Perspectives in Leadership and Business book series (CFPLB)


Jesus is the ultimate leader in that He is God come in the flesh. Therefore, we can learn from Him, and though He is omniscient, He has chosen to teach and model certain ways of living and leading. He gives instructions about serving to His disciples and we have the advantage of listening to these conversations that are filled with wisdom and divine directives. In addition, He is the ultimate servant in the way He led and then He left that example for others to follow. He even gives some very specific instructions about the path to great leadership that is paved with the road to becoming a servant. He teaches leaders lessons that are counterintuitive and countercultural with the goal of them becoming great leaders, great servant leaders. Jesus even addresses the issues of power directly giving instructions on how to rule and even how to use authority. He sets the example then for others to follow in His steps. These are concepts that are filled with innovation and life; yet, they will bring change deep in the soul of the person who embraces these concepts of leading. This is not the path for the weak willed or weak hearted but it is a path to success on several levels.


  1. Agosto, E. (2005). Servant Leadership: Jesus & Paul. St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press.Google Scholar
  2. Althaus, P. (1966). The Theology of Martin Luther. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bauer, D. R., & Traina, R. A. (2014). Inductive Bible Study: A Comprehensive Guide to the Practice of Hermeneutics. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.Google Scholar
  4. Bekker, C. J. (2006). The Philippians Hymn (2:5–11) as an Early Mimetic Christological Model of Christian Leadership in Roman Philippi. Paper presented at the Servant Leadership Research Roundtable.Google Scholar
  5. Burns, J., Shoup, J., & Simmons, D. (Eds.). (2014). Organizational Leadership: Foundations and Practices for Christians. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bushnell, M. S. (2001). Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Complete and Unabridged. Being C. G. Grimm (1861–1868; 1879) and C. L. W. Wilke (1851) Clavis Novi Testamenti Translated, Revised, and Enlarged, by Joseph Henry Thayer, D.D., Hon. Litt.D., Professor of New Testament, Divinity School of Harvard University, 1889. Electronic Edition Generated and Owned by International Bible Translators (IBT), Inc., 1998–2000. Greek Formatting Modifications (Such as Adding Diacritical Accents) and Improvements Made by Michael S. Bushell, 2001.Google Scholar
  7. Crowther, S. S. (2009). The Spirit of Service: Reexamining Servant Leadership in the Gospel of Mark. Inner Resources for Leaders, 1(3), 1–7.Google Scholar
  8. Crowther, S. S. (2013). Peter on Leadership: A Contemporary Exegetical Analysis. Fayetteville, NC: Ontos Zoe Publishing.Google Scholar
  9. Danley, D. A. (2009). Toward an Understanding of the Kenosis of Christ: A Proposed a Priori Constituent to Transformative Leadership Traits in Philippians 2:5–11 (Doctoral dissertation). Dissertation Abstracts International: SectionA, 71(11). (UMI No. 3425736).Google Scholar
  10. De Silva, D. (2004). An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.Google Scholar
  11. Elliot, J. H. (2000). The Anchor Bible: I Peter. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Friberg, T., & Friberg, B. (1994). Analytical Greek New Testament (GNM) (2nd ed.). n.p.: Timothy and Barbara Friberg.Google Scholar
  13. Hooker, M. (1999). The Gospel According to Saint Mark: Black’s New Testament Commentary. London: A & C Black Publishers Ltd.Google Scholar
  14. Johnston, R. M. (2014). The Gospels. In S. Bell (Ed.), Servants and Friends: A Biblical Theology of Leadership (pp. 147–162). Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Maloney, F. J. (1998). The Gospel of John. In D. J. Harrington (Ed.), Sacra Pagina (Vol. 4). Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press.Google Scholar
  16. Robbins, V. K. (1996). Exploring the Texture of Texts: A Guide to Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International.Google Scholar
  17. Wilkes, C. G. (1998). Jesus on Leadership: Discovering the Secrets of Servant Leadership from the Life of Christ. Lifeway Press: London.Google Scholar
  18. Witherington, B. (2007). Letter and Homilies for Hellenized Christians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1–2 Peter. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.Google Scholar
  19. Young, H. L. (2009). A Primer for Servant Leadership: Leading in the Right Direction. BookSurge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Crowther
    • 1
  1. 1.Grace College of DivinityFayettevilleUSA

Personalised recommendations