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Jesus: The Servant Leader

In Matthew 4:19: Matthew shows how Jesus establishes Himself as an effective leader. Matthew builds a progression in the text that shows a natural establishment of Jesus as a leader. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” . Jesus’ call to leave profession and family was radical, the sort of demand that only the most radical teacher would make. This text provides us several examples of servant-leadership and radical discipleship. Jesus’ seeking out disciples himself may represent a serious breach of custom as Jesus is seen “coming down to their level” socially. Kouzes and Posner identify this challenging of the “status quo” process as a quality of great leadership. Notice also that Jesus relates to his followers in terms they can understand. Jesus did not call professionally trained rabbis to be his followers. He called fishermen and encouraged them that the skills they already had were serviceable in the kingdom. Great leaders use persuasive rhetoric and can motivate followers through rhetorical lens’. Bass points out that transformational leaders “move followers to go beyond their own self-interests” (fishing) “for the good of their group, organization or community, country or society as a whole” (fishing for men).

Bass, B.M. (1985). Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectation. New York: Free Press

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (1993). Credibility: How leaders gain and lose it, why people demand it. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.