The Common Good

All Are Equally Called to 'Servant Leadership'

How many of us feel uneasy when we are told that men, rather than women, are called to be "servant leaders?" Perhaps we are confused by this notion -- that men alone are to be "servant leaders" -- because it contains an important truth though it carries that truth only part of the way. What do I mean?

Related Reading

Take Action on This Issue

Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget

A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

Scripture speaks of the Christian life, for both males and females, as one of service:

Jesus called them together and said, 'You know that the 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 your slave -- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'
(Matthew 20:25-28, TNIV)

Jesus said that unlike the Gentiles who exercised authority over others, among his followers those who wanted to be first must become like slaves, just as Christ came not to be served, but to serve. There is no mention of gender in this important passage in Matthew, nor is there any mention of authority.

Similarly, Paul also said that he became a slave to everyone for the sake of the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:19). Paul became a slave not because he was male but because he was being renewed in the image of Christ. The gospel calls that all Christians take up their cross and follow Jesus, not because of their gender, but because of their desire to be followers of Jesus.

Celebrate the servant leadership of all God's people!

Mimi HaddadMimi Haddad is president of Christians for Biblical Equality.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories

Resources

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)