Servant Leaders – How Do You Fuel Your Consistent Self Sacrifice?

I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

As a servant leader, you’ve committed to always support others. Yet, you’re only human. To support other people, you must in turn be supported. In this, God’s love is an inexhaustible resource for you. And, it’s a resource that’s free.

The question is, how do you access it?

Here are steps that you can take to consistently focus and turbo-charge your journey as a servant leader. These are steps that help you — in real, concrete terms ––learn to accept and leverage God’s support for you:

The pace and rigor of 21st century leadership is not tailor-made for servant leadership. It’s so easy to slip back into patterns of behavior that serve you first and the people you lead second.

✅ Acknowledge that your connection with God must be cultivated.

Your relationship with God is like any other relationship: you get out of it what you put into it. While God’s love for you is infinite, the support that He’s able to offer you is limited by how often and how deeply you open yourself up to it. As you study Jesus’ model of servant leadership in God’s word, cultivate your openness to being held up by Him. This is true of any loving relationship, right? You have to relax and commit to opening your heart and mind to let love and support in. This cultivation can only happen if you’re intentional about it.

Commit to consistent, quality visits with God.

You can tell when people are only half-listening to you, can’t you? When they’re “dialing in” their presence at a meeting or multi-tasking while you talk on the phone with them. Now…consider how you pray. Are you “all-in” – or are you distracted and rushed? Give God a quality visit, and you’ll be amazed at how He responds and goes to work in your life. Your energy will improve, as will your ability to take the road less travelled in order to do His will.

Get creative about pouring God’s love forth in your relationships.

God’s will is for you to be a servant leader. He wants you to love Him and love others. Supporting other people is a deeply creative act! Allow yourself to tap into your creativity in how you serve the people you work with. You have an innate desire to connect with other people, build relationships with them, and draw out the best they have to offer. God built you that way, and your method of “drawing out” is unique to you. Embrace that uniqueness! Allow yourself to have fun with delighting people in how you pour forth God’s love. Remember, most people are not accustomed to a servant leadership culture. Surprise them! You will in turn be fueled by their joy.

✅ Document your experience of pouring forth (in writing).

Buy a journal, or create a document on your desktop. Each week, document your experience in taking these steps to open up, accept, and leverage God’s love and support for you. You don’t have to write a novel; just a few sentences each week is enough. Then, review your progress. Read your own thoughts back to yourself often – aloud, if possible. Ample research has proven that reading aloud will more firmly imprint your words’ true meaning and impact in your mind.

The pace and rigor of 21st century leadership is not tailor-made for servant leadership. It’s so easy to slip back into patterns of behavior that serve you first and the people you lead second. When you do this, don’t beat yourself up. Ask for forgiveness. Then simply relax into your humanity, recommit to practicing the steps above, and reconnect with God’s infinite love and support; support that’s ready and eagerly waiting for you.

Do any of these steps resonate with your fuel source for servant leadership? I would love to hear about your fuel for your journey. Where are you stopping to fill your tank?


Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2


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. The keystone of true leadership is the ability to cultivate and enrich spirituality. Cultivate their own spirituality allows to enrich life force and to adopt creative impulse. Today, the fact of cultivating the spirituality is not a luxury hedonistic, or distance itself from the material life, but it is a requirement for those who want to evolve in their personal and professional dimension. Leadership today is the ability to be and remain innovative, to be a high performance engines in an increasingly complex, stressful world, sometimes hostile and, at the same time, capable of ensuring a positive atmosphere, challenging for themselves, for their employees, family and, more generally, for all other people.