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Leading by Serving: The Jesus Model for Making a Difference

In places torn by violent conflict, being a leader often means being the loudest or the strongest. But there's a different kind of leadership that can truly transform communities from the inside out—servant leadership. This idea comes from Jesus of Nazareth, a leader who showed the world that true power lies in serving others, not in being served. Let's explore how this model of leadership can inspire us to create change, even in the toughest environments.

What Is Servant Leadership?

Servant leadership flips traditional leadership ideas upside down. Instead of focusing on gaining power and control, servant leaders focus on the needs of their community. They ask, "How can I help?" rather than, "How can I benefit?" This kind of leader puts others first, leading by example and with compassion.

Jesus as the Ultimate Servant Leader

Jesus' life was the perfect example of servant leadership. He didn't seek fame or power. Instead, he spent his time helping the sick, feeding the hungry, and teaching about love and kindness. He even washed his followers' feet—a task usually done by servants—to show that no job was too small when it came to serving others.

Why Servant Leadership Matters in Conflict Zones

In areas hit hard by violence and division, servant leadership can be a beacon of hope. It shows that leadership doesn't have to be about force or fear. By serving others, leaders can build trust and bring communities together. This can help heal the wounds of conflict and start building a future where peace is possible.

How to Be a Servant Leader

Being a servant leader starts with listening. Listen to the people in your community. What are their needs? How are they hurting? Then, look for ways to help. This might mean organizing community clean-ups, tutoring students, or simply being there for someone who needs a friend. Remember, servant leadership is about actions, not just words.

The Impact of Servant Leadership

Servant leadership can have a powerful impact on communities. It can inspire others to act with kindness and compassion. Over time, this can change the culture of a community, making it stronger and more united. When people see that leadership is about serving, not dominating, they're more likely to come together to solve problems and support each other.

Read what Jesus said:

  • Serving Others: "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)

  • Leadership as Service: "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all." (Mark 10:43-44)

  • The Greatest Commandment: "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:39)

  • Helping Those in Need: "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:40)


In a world where leadership is often associated with power and control, the Jesus model of servant leadership offers a refreshing and transformative approach. By putting the needs of others first, servant leaders can heal, unite, and strengthen their communities, even in the midst of violent conflict. This approach shows that true leadership is about love, compassion, and service. As we strive to make a difference in our communities, let's remember the power of serving others and the lasting impact it can have on the world around us.



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