Shared servant leadership
Christ's example of servant leadership
"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
BE ONE, like Jesus: As a servant leadership team, be of the same mind, having the same love, being one as God the father, son and holy spirit are one (VS 1-2)
- Stay connected as a servant leadership team, so you stay united! Commit to your weekly prayer call/meetings, address personal conflict immediately, forgive as Lord has forgiven you. The enemy will try to destroy your unity because it can take down your whole group.
BE HUMBLE, like Jesus: Do nothing out of selfish ambition, or vanity- instead consider others more important than yourself, not looking to your own interests, but the interest of others first. (VS 3-4)
- Leadership brings the temptation to be self-promoting or glory-seeking, it has and it always will stir our innate sinful nature in this way. Just look around in politics, hollywood or even some church circles if you don't believe me! This is why Jesus' example of servant leadership turns the world's way upside down! We must guard ourselves against servant leading for personal gain and prayerfully speak and act in ways that put others before ourselves, living and loving the way Jesus did.
SERVANT LEAD, like Jesus: In our relationships, have the same mindset as Christ. He was God, yet He humbled himself, left heaven to become a human, took the role of a servant, lived a perfect life, suffered and died to pay the price for our sins. (VS 6-9)
- This puts into perspective every single challenge, conflict and slight we may experience in leadership. Jesus experienced rejection, betrayal, misunderstanding, ultimately death, but He persevered because He was being obedient to God's calling to Him, and so we must persevere in love by the power of the holy spirit as we servant lead our Agape Moms tribe.
SERVE FOR GOD'S GLORY, like Jesus: God the Father exalted Jesus to the highest place in heaven, and someday every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus is LORD! (VS 9-11)
- We are called to humbly love and lead like him, and when we do, we do it all for God's glory, and not our own!
Christ's design for his church is shared servant leadership
"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." -Ephesians 4:1-6
As we begin reading in Ephesians, we see that it reiterates the oneness, humility, service and glory to God that we just looked at in Philippians 2:1-11. Now we will see how Ephesians continues to spell out God's design for His church for shared servant leadership.
"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:
“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”
(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." -Ephesians 4: 7-16
GIFTING ALL OF HIS PEOPLE, God's design. These verses clearly state that it was God's design to give ALL of his people gifts, and for them to work together within the Body of Christ. (VS. 8,11)
- Every mama that embraces Christ, receives a spiritual gift/s from Him.
- Salvation and Mission go hand in hand, as we previously discussed from Ephesians 2:8-10.
SHARED LEADERSHIP, God's design. It is also God's design for us to plug all of our varied gifts into the body of Christ, so we can together equip His people for works of service, build each other up in love, help each other grow in maturity in Christ, all until we reach unity in faith and knowledge of Christ, being able to discern false doctrine and teaching from the gospel of Jesus. (VS. 12-14)
- We are committed to helping empower every mom to discover her gifts, help her grow in them and plug them into our Agape Moms tribe, as well as a local church.
- We do not make leadership an exclusive thing for just a few elite, we share God's heart to empower all of his people to band together as the Body, and use their gifts for Him.
THE BODY OF CHRIST, God's design. We were designed to live out Christ's mission for the church to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20) as we, The Body, move together on mission for Jesus. We were also designed to grow and help others grow up into maturity in Christ, as we continually speak the truth of the gospel in love to each other. (VS 15)
- Rooting our lives and our gifts into the family of God is God's intentional space for us to personally grow, help others grow, and give glory to God.
- Agape Moms is an arm of the church, a place to bring not yet believing moms and to use your spiritual gifts, but we still want to bring moms back into the fuller expression of the church.
GROWING FROM EACH PERSON DOING THEIR PART, God's design. As each person does their work, with their specific gifts, it helps the entire body grow and build itself up in love. (VS 16)
- The family of God is also like a puzzle, God designed us to work and fit together, and every single person and their gifts is important.
- To hog leadership to ourselves is to diminish God's design for us all to take part.
- We must be all about empowering and helping others grow up in their gifts, even if they are new to the faith or have areas that need to grow, we must be personally committed to helping them grow in their spiritual maturity and use of their gifts.
- We are all about embodying God's design and highly participatory function of the body of Christ with the cornerstone value of shared, servant leadership.
Agape Moms Servant Leadership Roles
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
We have all been gifted with a purpose to build up His Body, the Church. We want you to see yourself as an essential part of the puzzle, of God’s intricately designed family, of our Agape Moms Family. We need you and your gifts to make our family whole! As we grow, we want you to feel empowered to plug in your gifts and passions directly into our tribe. As you pray about that, here are some ongoing needs and leadership roles wide open and needing to be filled. Please offer your suggestions too if you have a special gift or idea that you want to invest. (example of my invitation to encourage moms to plug in their gifts)
Agape Moms Servant Leadership Roles
This person or team has a passion for hospitality and would enjoy overseeing our coffee, food and welcoming moms at the door/cafe every week. Organizing the snack sign up sheet, overseeing coffee supplies, and making the coffee bar area beautiful and welcoming are part of this team's area of caring for our family and serving Jesus.
*Missional, Brunch & Play Team:
The first Thursday of every month, we go out into our community for a casual meet up in lieu of our study. Everywhere we go, we are always living on mission for Jesus, and we want to be intentional about inviting new moms we run into to join us, especially on these mornings. This person or team would enjoy organizing our meet ups, sending the FB event out in our group, sometimes coming up with an ice breaker question, fun new places to checkout, as well as help lead us in our pursuit of being on mission for Jesus as we go about everyday, messy mom life.
*Discussion Group Leader Team:
This person has a passion to share the gospel and God’s truth as she shepherds other mamas in love, grace and truth! As we continue to grow, more discussion group leaders will need to be trained up, so we can continue to offer a smaller, family environment for the discussion time. Discussion group leaders will rotate doing some teaching for the larger group (if they are interested and equipped!) as well as their primary role of breaking off and discussing the application questions in smaller groups. Training up more discussion group leaders also helps us practice for the potential of multiplying our Agape Moms into more Agape Moms groups that may need to form if the groups grows too large. The more discussion group leaders and smaller groups we form, the more effective we are in making more disciples!
*Moms Night Out/IN & Baby Celebration Team:
Do you enjoy organizing events, planning parties and celebrating others, all in the name of Jesus? This person or team will continue our trend of planning MNO’s, dedicating MNO’s to expectant mommies when the time comes, as well as seasonal social celebrations for our tribe. While most of these events will be centered on celebrating milestones in our family (babies being born, Christmas parties, Mothers Day much needed night on the town), we’d love this person to help us keep our pulse on being missional, and being intentional about inviting not yet believing women to join us on these fun events.
*Agape Love in Action Team:
Join this team as they lead us in sharing God’s Agape Love to those in our immediate family tribe, as well as intentionally going out into our community and showing the love of Christ with our actions. This person has a burden for the Least of These and for getting out of our comfort zone to share the gospel with the hurting, the marginalized and the hard to love- it’s showing the Gospel with our lives. This team helps our tribe keep relationships are at the core of our love in action. Adopting a school, nursing home, neighborhood, sports team/facility, library, crisis pregnancy center, homeless ministry (see if theres one for moms), local prison ministry (writing letters/sending books), etc are options as well. Be careful not to turn this into a "service project" because it is always about loving people before it is about the act of serving, and people are not projects, they're people. We are investing in relationships for the long haul as we continually point them back to Jesus!
*Meal Train Team:
This person or team has a heart for serving others by meeting practical needs. Creating meal trains for moms of new babies is part of being in the Agape Moms Tribe! Make sure to touch base with the mom to get details before she has the baby. Meal trains may also be helpful for moms with injuries, deployed husbands, or other crisis situations.
This person or team has a burden and passion to pray for others, and help lead and guide our tribe in our pursuit of God in both praise, lament and petition. This person would oversee our prayer cards each week and make sure everyone gets one and takes one home, as well as making sure we have paper. This person is welcome to change up the prayer card system, follow up with people's requests and post updates and needs in the group as she sees fit. This person or team would lead our tribe in praying for each other, the community and other things as they come up on an ongoing basis.
*Agape Bins/ Share the love page Organizer:
This person has the gift of giving and seeing others needs. As you get into the habit of passing maternity and baby clothes as well as other things around as needed, you may find it appropriate to create a separate Facebook Group, called "Share the Love." However, this person would help identify and match clothes and other needs with mamas and kiddos, and potentially hang onto clothes and items as they transition between mamas if there isn't an immediate person to pass them onto.
*The sign-up sheet and graphic for this are part of your startup packet when you register your group.
Raising up a co-leader will be something that God does in His timing. Do not list this role on the sign-up sheet, instead be praying and looking for a mom who's heart is being continually gripped by the good new of Jesus, a mom who is living on mission for Jesus in her life, and a mom who is already highly invested and committed to your tribe. As you begin to identify who that might be, ask her to pray about it. If she's interested, you can then take her through this exact training.
You will closely disciple your co-leader and empower them to begin sharing your role, one thing at a time. It's crucial that you will have a prayer call or meeting with your co-leader once a week and guard yourself against the ways the enemy may try to tear you apart. The end goal will be equipping them to potentially lead their own group someday, if your group ever gets so big that you need to split.
As you lead together, she can oversee some of the other servant leadership teams, she can switch off with you and share the teaching, and she will be another discussion group leader. In addition, you can share posting updates and recaps in the FB group, along with many other things depending on your personalities and gifts.
servant leadership Training:
You will soon need to take your co-leader and/or new discussion group leaders through this training. A good time to do training is during the summer when things have slowed down, or during the month of August when Agape Moms takes a back to school break and there is more time for this additional meeting, however it can be done whenever it needs to be done.
When you register your group with the Agape Moms Family Network, you will receive a Servant Leader Training Packet that we use and some other things to help you train up new servant leaders. It would be great to take the leaders from other teams through it, although that isn't required, but definitely invite them. (co-leader and discussion group leaders must do this training and hold to our core beliefs.)
Remember, raising up more leaders will take time and lots of prayer and discernment. With the original Agape Moms, we didn't have any shared leadership until one year after launching, but that's when God brought the co-leader, and more leaders started to plug in as well. As you set the tone for shared leadership, women may plug in much sooner.
Next week, for the session "Missional Living" you will have the privilege of hearing from my co-leader, Jessica Hundley, who became the leader of the original Agape Moms when my husband got a job transfer and we very suddenly had to move across the country. I love how God used our season of training and many months and years of doing this together to fully prepare her for this transition, and she is doing an incredible job! She is now training up her own co-leader and even more shared leadership as we speak, and more disciples are being made for His glory! She has embodied missional living so beautifully, and I'm so excited for you to hear from her, and for us to together model the importance of shared leadership, even on this website, where she has also submitted some amazing blog posts as well. When women support and empower each other, amazing things happen in the Kingdom of God!
1.) How is servant leadership different than how we see leadership play out in the secular workplace or even in church cultures that do not adopt the servant leadership example of Jesus?
2.) How does the example of Jesus' life and ministry speak into our weaknesses and trials in leadership, empowering us to step outside of our comfort zones to love and serve others, even when it's not easy or glamorous?
3.) How does Jesus' design for the church, including varying gifts, and emphasizing that growth comes as each person does their part, impact your vision of being a servant leader within Agape Moms?
4.) Why is it important that we are committed to empowering and helping others discover, grow and plug in their gifts within our Agape Moms family?
5.) What are some practical ways that you can ensure that you, or just a few of you, don't assume all of the responsibilities of your group? What are some ways you can set the tone for shared servant leadership vs. exclusive glory-driven leadership?
6.) Are you familiar with the different servant leadership roles/teams above and are you committed to continually encouraging moms to sign up for a team or teams? ( Of course be sensitive to those who aren't ready or who need more time.)
Romans 12: 1-3 shows us that worship isn't just songs we sing, it's a lifestyle.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Our spiritual act of worship is giving our lives away for Jesus, and part of that is servant leadership. As you start to wrap your mind around God not just saving you, but gifting you uniquely with the purpose of making disciples of Jesus, it starts to encompass not just a Sunday morning duty, but submitting your whole life. It's picking up our cross and following Him, it's losing our life to find it, and even God's creation exists to reflects back glory and honor and praise to the King of Kings:
"If the stars were made to worship so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high so will I
If the wind goes where You send it so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence so will I
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times
God of salvation
You chased down my heart
Through all of my failure and pride
On a hill You created
The light of the world
Abandoned in darkness to die
And as You speak
A hundred billion failures disappear
Where You lost Your life so I could find it here
If You left the grave behind You so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve done
Every part designed in a work of art called love
If You gladly chose surrender so will I
I can see Your heart
Eight billion different ways
Every precious one
A child You died to save
If You gave Your life to love them so will I"
Jesus gave His life to save moms we know who don't yet know Jesus. I hope you will sing and worship with your heart,
"If you gave your life to love them so will I."
This is offering our lives as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, and in the context of Agape Moms, it's called Shared Servant Leadership.