THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
A FAITHFUL AND PRUDENT SERVANT
August 31, 2017
1 Thessalonians 3:7-13
Our call as servant leaders is to be a “faithful and
prudent servant” (Mt 24:45a). Why? Because we do the
very work of the Master, who relies on His servants to accomplish
His will in the world. Servant leaders are those “whom
the master has put in charge of his household to distribute
to them their food at the proper time” (Mt 24:45b).
God feeds His people materially and spiritually, and does
this through His designated servant leaders.
might servant leaders fail in this task?
There are those who are not active or proactive in doing
their work. They become lazy, thinking the Master will not
be taking them to task any time soon. Such a “wicked
servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed’”
are those who become co-opted by the world rather than being
set apart for the work of their Master. They “eat
and drink with drunkards” (Mt 24:49b). They are busy
with their own rather than the Master’s agenda.
There are those who are quarrelsome with their fellow servants,
and who become envious, competitive, unappreciative, maligning
and the like. Such a one “begins to beat his fellow
servants” (Mt 24:49a).
Rather, how should servant leaders act?
hold those they serve in their hearts in prayer, desiring
their growth in faith. “Night and day we pray beyond
measure to see you in person and to remedy the deficiencies
of your faith.” (1 Thes 3:10).
They strive to lead those whom they serve to holiness. They
desire for them “to be blameless in holiness before
our God and Father” (1 Thes 3:13b).
They work to strengthen the hearts of those whom they serve,
to help them endure and persevere through difficulties and
pain. They work “so as to strengthen your hearts”
(1 Thes 3:13a).
They help build up the body in fraternal love, thus resulting
in peace and unity in the body. They pray “the Lord
make you increase and abound in love for one another and
for all” (1 Thes 3:12a).
They are thankful and joyful for the privilege to serve
others. “What thanksgiving, then, can we render to
God for you, for all the joy we feel on your account before
our God?” (1 Thes 3:9).
They willingly suffer in order to be life-giving to others,
finding their consolation in the well-being of those whom
they serve. “Because of this, we have been reassured
about you, brothers, in our every distress and affliction,
through your faith.” (1 Thes 3:7).
They accompany their people until the end, making sure no
one is left behind. Together they look to “the coming
of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones.” (1 Thes
With such challenges in their service, servant leaders know
they cannot be effective without God and His abounding grace.
They strive with all their human might, but in the end know
that good fruit can be provided only by God. They are constantly
on their knees in prayer. “May the favor of the Lord
our God be ours. Prosper the work of our hands! Prosper the
work of our hands!” (Ps 90:17).