How do you define leadership?

If you go to Amazon and search for leadership books, you will find 118,847 of them and the number is continuously growing.
People define leadership in many ways. It is defined as directing a group, the act of guiding, establishing clear vision and direction. One famous definition states that leadership is influence.

But if you go to the Scriptures, Jesus defined leadership differently.
He said, “Leadership is serving.”

“Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35.

Here are a few qualities of a servant leader.


You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1)

Paul writes a letter to Timothy and calls him son. He was not his biological son. He was a son in the faith. Timothy was Paul’s constant companion and took him under his wing to disciple him and raise him up as a leader.

By this time of his writing, Timothy was already leading the church in Ephesus. But the mentoring relationship continued even after Timothy has become a leader.

Leaders acknowledge the need for constant mentoring. Unfortunately, many when they take positions of leadership become too proud to listen to people’s advice and start asserting their own opinions. I like what someone said, “Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has one. And some of them stink.”

Do you have people who speak into your life? You need them.

Leadership begins with “follower-ship.” I realize that that’s not a word but I think it’s a good concept. (Those who are grammar Nazis, just bear with me.)


Paul told Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

What does it mean to be strong in grace?

It is to acknowledge that the only reason why we can achieve success is because of the empowering grace of God. The grace of God allows us to be who God called us to be and do what God has called us to do.

Timothy had a Jewish mom but a Gentile father. This was not an ideal situation. In fact, “half breeds” were looked down upon just like the Samaritans in those days. Yet God used Timothy to be a leader in the church in Ephesus.

As a leader, you might feel that God cannot use you because of your background, history, experience or lack of pedigree.

But remember this, God doesn’t call the qualified but He qualifies the called.

Paul understood this and emphasized to Timothy to be strong in the grace – to know that He enables us to be who God called us to be and do what He called us to do.


And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. (2 Timothy 2:2)

Timothy was a reliable follower who became a reliable leader. Paul mentioned people who were unreliable and deserted him (2 Timothy 4:10,16). But he commended Timothy for proving to be dependable. (Philippians 2:22)

Paul then tells Timothy to look for reliable men.

Remember, it’s hard to find reliable people if you don’t know what reliable means.
It’s equally difficult to encourage people to be reliable if you are not reliable yourself.

Reliability as a leader also means making tough decisions. Timothy was in a church that lost their first love (Revelation 2:4). In addition, they were starting to accommodate heretical teachings. Because of this, Timothy had to step up even as a young leader to make tough decisions.

Leaders make decisions.
Leaders make tough decisions.
Leaders make tough decisions no one wants to make.
Leaders take responsibility for the decisions they’ve made.


Leaders know that it’s never about them. They know that ultimately, their job is to work themselves out of their job.

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. (2 Timothy 2:2)

Timothy visited Paul in Rome while he was incarcerated. Timothy at one point was incarcerated himself.

They both knew that they can’t be the leader forever. Because it was a major possibility that they could be jailed or executed, they needed to raise future leaders who can take the gospel and advance the kingdom of God.

“Go into leading with the idea of leaving.”

Pastor Steve and Deborah Murrell were only supposed to be in the Philippines for a month hoping to pass on the leadership of Victory to Filipinos. But what was supposed to be 1 month turned into a couple of decades. They led with the idea of leaving which resulted to an empowering culture.

Lead with the idea of leaving. It’s never about you.

I’m glad we have this as a core value and has been embedded in our corporate culture.

We are averse to the “Rock Star Pastor Philosophy.”
I’m glad that our pastors raised leaders (including me) and believed in us when no one did, allowing us to make dumb mistakes and learning from them.

We don’t have leaders that preach the whole day and if they get tired, take a video of them and that’s what’s shown in the afternoon and evening services.

I appreciate Pastor Steve teaching us that we are TO lead the next generation and lead WITH the next generation. The goal is to raise leaders who will be better than us.

Servant leaders know it’s never about them for there is only one name that is going to be made famous – JESUS (period).


Other blogs on Leadership:

1. Stuff My Dad Told Me by Joe Bonifacio

2. To Lead is to Lean, Learn, Live, and Love by Carla Bonifacio

3. Lead To Leaveby Paolo Punzalan

4. Raising Leaders Right In Your Home by Jen Punzalan

5. I Don’t Think So by Jekoy Valle

6. Deny Yourself by Dennis Sy

7. Failures and Beginnings by Sofia Paderes

8. WATERLINE: The marks of Leadership by Perci Paras

9. Influence by Charls de los Reyes

10. He Must Become Greater by Rinnah Ramirez

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