Leadership : What Kind of Leader are You?

But whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave. Matthew 20:26-27

The Old Testament uses several Hebrew terms that we translate as “servant,” each one presenting a slightly different picture of the heart of a servant:

  • Ebed – A love-slave or servant. This term describes someone who is at the complete disposal of another (Deuteronomy 15:12-18). Likewise, leaders must be at the disposal of the Lord and their people.
  • Abad – One who gives up personal rights in order to work in the fields or tabernacle (Numbers 18:7, 23). In a similar way, leaders must sacrifice their rights and stay surrendered to the cause.
  • Sakyir – A hired servant who works for pay, by day or by year (Leviticus 25:39-42). A leader must avoid the perspective of a “paid professional” and flee when times get hard.
  • Sharath – Someone who will perform menial tasks to accomplish an overall goal (Exodus 28:35-43). Leaders must serve the mission.

Leaders must never forget that God calls them to serve. If our Lord could wash His disciples’ feet as a “sharath”, then how could we frown at becoming an “ebed”?
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