THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
SERVANT LEADERS FOR THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
2 Timothy 4:6-18
We are in crucial times, and so the Church is called to the
New Evangelization. One important aspect of this call is the
emergence of true servant leaders
readings provide much to expound on this subject. Thus this
article will be longer than usual. It will look into important
virtues and actions of a true servant leader. Since each aspect
can actually be expanded so much more, I am writing this just
in bullet or summary form. You expand on the topic.
time to read, study, reflect on, and discuss this article
in households, in whole or in parts. It is divided into 3
parts: (1) your life in Christ, (2) your life in community,
and (3) your work in the world. There are 20 items.
Our life in Christ
#1: Fear of the Lord. “Fear the Lord, you his
holy ones” (Ps 34:10a). Be in awe of God, obey Him
in everything, be faithful to His call, avoid sin and wrongdoing.
Be assured, that “nothing is lacking to those who
fear him.” (Ps 34:10b). In fact, we miss out on His
blessings because we do not honor, obey and worship God.
We go on our own way, according to our own desires, following
our own agenda, when God already has the greatest plan for
us. But it is up to us, and it begins with fear of the Lord.
#2: Praying without ceasing. “I will bless
the Lord at all times; his praise shall be always in my
mouth.” (Ps 34:2). Pray in your prayer nook every
day of course, but beyond that, be in constant communication
with God throughout the day, in every situation,
be mindful of His presence, submit your every thought and
action to Jesus’ lordship.
Trust in God. Your heavenly Father loves you with an
eternal love. Jesus died for you. The Holy Spirit gives
you wisdom and guides you to salvation. God is there for
you. Will He not give you everything else besides? God
is just waiting for you. Be not afraid. “I sought
the Lord, and he answered me, delivered me from all my fears.”
(Ps 34:5). God saves you from all distress. “This
poor one cried out and the Lord heard, and from all his
distress he saved him.” (Ps 34:7). Look to God for
consolation and care. “Taste and see that the Lord
is good; blessed is the stalwart one who takes refuge in
him.” (Ps 34:9). God provides for your needs, and
“those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”
(Ps 34:11b). God rescues you from the enemy. “And
I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will
rescue me from every evil threat.” (2 Tm 4:17c-18a).
#4: Generosity and joy in giving. “Give to the
Most High as he has given to you, generously, according
to your means.” (Sir 35:12). Do not just accept God’s
bountiful blessings but not return to Him. First obligation
is to tithe, and to do it joyfully. Then there are
freewill gifts beyond the tithe, such as love offerings
and works of charity. But how about your own needs? Know
that God is never outdone in generosity. “For
he is a God who always repays and will give back to you
sevenfold.” (Sir 35:13). But give to God because
of your love for and gratitude to Him, and so you can be
an instrument of His generosity to others, especially the
poor. It is not a way of getting favors or receiving more
material blessings. That would be a fatal mistake. “But
offer no bribes; these he does not accept!” (Sir 35:14).
And do not give God dirty money. “Do not trust
in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion.” (Sir 35:15a).
#5: No self-righteousness. No hypocrisy. Do not be
like the Pharisees, “who were convinced of their own
righteousness and despised everyone else.” (Lk 18:9).
We are all sinners, and only by the grace and mercy of God
can we live in Him. So be like the tax collector who “stood
off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful
to me a sinner.’” (Lk 18:13). Unlike the Pharisee
in the parable, do not look down on others because you think
they are not as pious as you are (Lk 18:11). Do not become
proud of your legalistic observance of God’s law (Lk
18:12). Never exalt yourself. Consider yourself the greatest
of sinners. Be truly humble, and when God works in and
through you, be even more humbled. Be aware of an important
spiritual principle: “for everyone who exalts himself
will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be
exalted.” (Lk 18:14b).
#6: Striving for holiness and Christian perfection. Strive
for holiness and find favor with God. “The eyes of
the Lord are directed toward the righteous and his ears
toward their cry.” (Ps 34:16). Strive to be holy as
God is holy. Seek to be perfect as the heavenly Father
is perfect. God looks to the care of the righteous,
and answers their prayers and petitions.
#7: Giving glory only to God. “To him be glory forever
and ever. Amen.” (2 Tm 4:18c). We are nothing apart
from God. We can do nothing apart from His grace and provision.
But God will enable us to do great things if we strive to
be worthy instruments, but we must never grab acclaim or
glory for ourselves. That would be foolish and stupid, and
bereft of any reality.
Our life in CFC-FFL and the Church
#8: Openness to and desire for God’s teaching.
“Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you
fear of the Lord.” (Ps 34:12). You are called to live
Christ, that is, to be another Christ. It cannot happen
unless you learn what that means. So listen to Jesus in
prayer and learn from him. Search for God’s wisdom,
especially in the Bible. Attend community formation courses.
Read and reflect on From the Servant General articles,
as well as the SG’s books. Discuss topics in households
and learn from one another.
Doing good and not evil. “Turn from evil and
do good” (Ps 34:15a). Though we remain sinners, you
must resolve to avoid sin and wrongdoing. Whenever you fall,
you must repent. Now do not just avoid doing what is
evil or bad, but proactively do good. For example, the corporal
and spiritual works of mercy. As another example, serving
community, parish and society. Love as Jesus loves.
#10: Taming your tongue. “Keep your tongue
from evil, your lips from speaking lies.” (Ps 34:14).
Do not lie, malign, slander, calumniate, tell half-truths,
gossip, misrepresent or twist facts. Remember that Satan
is the father of lies. Speak only what is right and
just and true.
Being a peacemaker. “Seek peace and pursue it.”
(Ps 34:15b). Peace is shalom, that is, being
in good relationship with others, as God would have us relate
with each other, since we are all His children, and part
of His body on earth. Seek to be a peacemaker. Go out
of your way to be reconciled. Be a channel of God’s
peace. But do not sacrifice truth, justice and authentic
peace for just being able to stop a conflict. Even Jesus
came not for peace but division.
#12: Being ready for betrayal. Jesus was betrayed
by one of his 12 chosen apostles. For Paul there were Demas
and Alexander the coppersmith (2 Tm 4:10a,14). We too,
especially those in top leadership, can expect the same.
Betrayal comes due to envy, lust for power and position,
personal animosity, and a host of other reasons, which the
evil one can easily know and take advantage of. When betrayed,
do not give up in disappointment. Continue your good work.
Pray for those who oppose and oppress you. Rejoice that
you are in the same boat as the Lord Jesus and the apostle
#13: Standing fast and persevering, even if you are the
only one left standing. “At my first defense
no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me.”
(2 Tm 4:16a). Bear no grudges and nurse no resentments.
Such poison only works against you. Pray instead for them.
“May it not be held against them!” (2 Tm 4:16b).
Stand fast and rely on the Lord’s strength. “But
the Lord stood by me and gave me strength” (2 Tm 4:17a).
In this most important work of the New Evangelization, God
will provide for His authentic instruments, such as Paul,
“so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.” (2 Tm 4:17b).
Our mission in the world
#14: Evangelization. Introduce people to Christ.
Share Christ so that they might meet and know Christ. Help
them to live his way of life, to live Christ. Help integrate
them into the Church. “Magnify the Lord with me; and
let us exalt his name together.” (Ps 34:4).
#15: Spiritual warfare. When we evangelize we engage
in spiritual warfare. We face a powerful foe, much more
powerful than we, and that is the devil, the ancient serpent
itself. He is assisted by powerful world forces. You
will get bruised, bloodied and even martyred. But know that
God is on your side! “The Lord’s face is against
evildoers to wipe out their memory from the earth.”
(Ps 34:17). So keep on fighting. You are already on the
#16: Work for justice. “For he is a God of justice,
who shows no partiality.” (Sir 35:15b). Justice
is giving to the other person what is his due. For example,
to God is due worship; to our fellowmen respect, to the
poor an equitable share of the world’s goods. Be just.
Fight for justice. Justice gives birth to peace.
#17: Love and service to the poor.
God does show partiality, and that is to the least, the
last, the lost. God loves the poor. Our Church has a preferential
option for the poor (as we in CFC-FFL also do). “He
shows no partiality to the weak but hears the grievance
of the oppressed.” (Sir 35:16). The poor are not those
who are just lazy or good-for-nothing. Rather, they
are poor due to oppression, injustice, corruption. The poor
are the widows and the orphans during Jesus’ time.
“He does not forsake the cry of the orphan, nor the
widow when she pours out her complaint.” (Sir 35:16-17).
#18: Confidence in God through troubles and afflictions.
If you are with God and in Him, He will help you out whenever
you call out to Him. “The righteous cry out, the Lord
hears and he rescues them from all their afflictions.”
(Ps 34:18). God will be your consolation in times of sorrow.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, saves those
whose spirit is crushed.” (Ps 34:19). You need never
be afraid of anything, if you cling to God. “Many
are the troubles of the righteous, but the Lord delivers
him from them all.” (Ps 34:20). Endure and persevere.
#19: Reliance on the heavenly armies. God’s angels
have been fighting Satan’s demons from the beginning.
We of course align with the angels (though many so-called
Christians are allayed with the demons). “The angel
of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he saves
them.” (Ps 34:8). St Michael the Archangel is the
head of the heavenly host. As such, you can look to him
and his angels for help, protection, provision, guidance.
They are all around you.
#20: Readiness for the end. Be ready to go anytime!
“For I am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.” (2 Tm 4:6).
Strive to always be in a state of grace. Be ready to face
God and make an account of your stewardship. “I have
competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the
faith.” (2 Tm 4:7). Really look forward to your eternal
reward. “From now on the crown of righteousness awaits
me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on
that day” (2 Tm 4:8a). Can you have the confidence
of Paul? Are you ready to face your Maker, your Lord, your
Master, your Commander-in-Chief? Would that the crown will
be awarded by our Lord Jesus Christ “not only to (Paul),
but to all who have longed for his appearance.” (2
Tm 4:8b). When your time comes, may God will bring you to
heaven. Make your prayer: may the Lord “bring me safe
to his heavenly kingdom.” (2 Tm 4:18b).
Servant leaders, you have a hard task, to serve the Lord in
the way you are called. That is your responsibility, but your
great privilege. Look to these virtues. Look to these standards.
And be assured of God’s favor. “The Lord is the
redeemer of the souls of his servants; and none are condemned
who take refuge in him.” (Ps 34:23).
to that we say: Amen, and Amen.
See 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and Ephesians 6:18a.
 See Romans 8:31-32.
 A tithe by definition is 10% of one’s income.
 See Sirach 35:11.
 See Sirach 35:1-10.
 Not necessarily in money or material things, which might
not even turn out to be blessings for us, no matter how much
we think they will be.
 Crooks and corrupt officials give money to the Church,
thinking it pays for their sins. Wrong!
 Even Paul looked at himself as such. See 1 Timothy 1:15.
 Knowing our accomplishments are not through our talents,
abilities, experience or resources (though we make use of
these), but only as God wills, and due to provision of power
from the Spirit.
 See 1 Peter 1:15-16.
 See Matthew 5:48.
 Oftentimes not according to how we would want God to
answer them. But of course our Father knows best.
 The customary term for students in wisdom literature.
 There is much formation in CFC-FFL and teaching in the
 These provide the added benefit of being very much Bible-based,
thus pointing out the very important verses in the Bible as
applicable to the CFC-FFL life and mission.
 And confess your sins to a priest. Immediately if a mortal
sin. Whenever you are able if a venial sin.
 See James 3:1-12.
 See John 8:44.
 It is not just the absence of war or conflict or animosity.
 Whether the universal Church or individual groups or
 See Luke 12:51. Jesus of course is the Prince of Peace
and did come to establish messianic peace, but because others
will not accept him or his message or his truths, there will
be conflict with and division from those who do accept.
 Paul also talks of “dangers among false brothers”
(2 Cor 11:26).
 St Francis of Assisi was betrayed by his two closest
confreres who did not want to follow his rule on poverty.
They in effect took the community he founded from him.
 The US government under Obama, the UN and EU bureaucrats,
billionaire depopulationists, anti-family and anti-life groups
(foremost is International Planned Parenthood), liberal media,
many in the Hollywood entertainment industry, etc.
 Showing no partiality in this usage means being just
to everyone. But in #17, we see that God shows partiality
to the poor. That means a preferential option for the poor.
 “Good-for-nothing” is an oft-used expression.
But every creation of God is good for something.
 They had no one to care for them.
 Including your own guardian angel.