Live As A Lighthouse

shine-guide-lighthouse(1)I love lighthouses. I used a lighthouse on the original website design for Triune Leadership Services as I felt it depicted many of the same attributes of servant leadership.

Why A Lighthouse

It may seem like a peculiar stretch to compare a lighthouse to servant leadership. However, as you focus on the main function of a lighthouse, you will start to see the parallel.

  • Piercing – No matter how dark, the light of a lighthouse will pierce through that darkness to show the way.
  • Persistent – A lighthouse does not stop in its purpose; it is always lit up, showing the way.
  • Pertinent – Any skillful seaman will tell you about the importance of a lighthouse. They fulfill a very specific need and without them, people would die.

Jesus, the Lighthouse

In John 8:12 Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” When we compare Jesus to the same attributes described above, we see His purpose was to serve as a Lighthouse for us.

  • Piercing – “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” (John 14:6)
  • Persistent – “In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day.” (Luke 13:33)
  • Pertinent – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

In His Image

You were created in the image of God and because of such, you have been equipped with the same strengths. As a servant leader you need to be a lighthouse for your people.

  • Piercing – Be extremely clear with your team, family and/or organization. Communicate the foundation of who you are with your purpose, vision and values. Bounce all decisions and activity off of that same foundation. Clarify expectations and consequences in one-on-one conversations.
  • Persistent – Always be present and approachable. Review progress on expectations and goals. Reward good behavior and performance. Live your life to serve and commit to building people up. Do not become weary in doing good.
  • Pertinent – The work you do matters. As a leader, you help to equip others to live out their God-given purpose, along with your own. Serve the people around you as a humble and loving leader and you will make a difference in their lives. You have been given a platform to make a positive impact in the world; look for opportunities to build energy, performance and relationships and watch as God brings blessings to your life and those around you.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16


Mark W. Deterding
Mark W. Deterding
MARK Deterding is an author, speaker, consultant, executive coach and the founder of Triune Leadership Services, LLC. His purpose is to work with leaders to help them develop core servant leadership capabilities that allow them to lead at a higher level and enable them to achieve their God-given potential. He has written two books, A Model of Servant Leadership, and Leading Jesus’ Way. With over three decades of experience directing companies and developing leaders, Mark created A Model of Servant Leadership parallel to the principles that Jesus himself illustrated. Working with organizations, leadership teams, and executives one-on-one, he helps bring focus, clarity, and action to make things work. He also conducts training programs to teach faith-based servant leadership principles. His greatest passion is seeing the impact servant leadership has on people’s lives and beyond. Prior to Triune Leadership Services he worked for 35 years in the printing industry holding senior leadership positions at Taylor Corporation, RR Donnelly, and Banta Corporation. He is an accomplished executive with a proven track record for developing purpose-driven; values based teams that drive culture improvement, enhanced employee passion, and improved business results. He is featured in Ken Blanchard’s book “Leading at a Higher Level”, and has been a featured speaker for the Ken Blanchard Companies Executive Forum in both 2007 and 2011. Mark lives in Alexandria, Minnesota with his wife Kim. They have two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and three grandchildren, so far. To find out more about Mark and his work, visit Triune Leadership Services via the Link adjacent his Photo above.

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  1. Good points. Are you a lighthouse, or a lure? One will guide you safely. The other will guide you to a gaping maw, thus to your doom. You, the lighthouse, must shine more brightly than that lure so you can help as many people as you can. And I’m not speaking with hyperbole. There are real monsters out there. They look great in their suits and project a strong presence. But, they will terrify, take over your department, and cause your company to hemorrhage money. I’ve seen many such gaping maws and was involved in a lot of initiatives to dig companies out of holes these monsters put them in.