5 Stone's Ethos: Servanthood

There are many definitions of Leadership. The word that encapsulates our ethos is Servanthood

The day of elevating mega structure leaders to the place of visionary can be treacherous. Jesus taught and demonstrated that apostolic leaders should see themselves as servants, not as lone ranger visionaries. The Apostle Paul had a description of this kind of leadership: “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5). 

Jesus is Our Lord. This is incarnational through the preaching of the word and the practicing of it in our lives, but it is also by birthing and planting the structures we endorse and the leadership roles we assume. 5 Stone is in alignment with what Robert Greenleaf stated fifty years ago. He said that we need servants who learn to lead, not leaders who are learning to serve. Greenleaf predicted that the next generation of followers would “not casually accept the authority of existing institutions. Rather, they would respond only to individuals who are chosen as leaders because they are proven and trusted as servants.”

This statement echoes what Jesus told his followers to become as servant leaders: 

“You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42-45). 

Jesus makes leadership accessible to every maturing disciple, not just the super-talented few. Especially today we often see anemic engagement in church and in mission because we have not offered Christians an accessible view of engagement. If it means that a follower of Jesus would need to be a preacher or a leader that stands on a stage with a microphone, then have we reduced the pool of people who can lead in and through a church to the number of stages or platforms we have? This is anathema to the gospel Jesus preached and taught, it is also strategically foolish for a movement that wants to multiply and grow. Reviving and reenergizing the concept of servanthood as the primary quality of Christian leadership, we at 5 Stone knew, would be necessary for the kind of movement we were imagining. Empowerment for us is helping people hear their calling to be servants to a group of people who are lost or poor and in great need of the Kingdom. Calling is as unique as fingerprints or soul prints. None are the same. It can be a messy process but when we help people hear the voice of God, trust what He is saying and to obey His calling, it’s extraordinary. This calling may not often fit all of the forms of church service, as we know them. This can even be seem risky with a loss of control but as we make disciples and plant churches that understand and embrace this we can empower people by helping them hear and obey God and release them in their God given calling in and through His Church. 5 Stone is passionate to help every follower know and walk in their Kingdom calling to make disciples that transforms society to multiply servant leaders and churches. I am thankful for every person reading this knowing that you have a God given calling and that together we can see His Kingdom come and His will be done in new and greater ways for His Glory!

by Mike Roberts of 5 Stone Ministries