The making of a leader. Lessons on leadership from the life of Joseph.
Lesson # 4: Servant-leader. A leader in second position. A good second fiddle.
Title: Servant-Leader all his life. In second position, yes, but successful.
Transition: Joseph was a man of character, a gifted individual holding on to his “dream”. At all times he acted as a servant-leader.
Lesson context: Gen 37 - 50
Introduction: Not everyone is called to lead in a Senior position, although everyone can be happy in a second position provided he/she has a servant attitude.
I.Joseph a leader always in second place:
A.Second place after his Father Jacob. Lead shepherd under Jacob.
KJV Genesis 37: 1And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
2These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
13And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.
14And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
His brothers work against their father, they do evil things and hide them from him. Joseph reports them.
His father discusses business with him, asks for reports, asks if the brothers went to Shechem, etc.
Joseph is a link between his father, the owner of the flocks and his brothers, the herdsmen.
He is given a special tunic as a mark of authority.
Joseph is number 2 at home and in the family business as he grows up to be 17 years of age.
He starts working for his father, he does not own anything, but he handles the business for his father’s benefit.
We are all called to serve in a second position; we all work for our Heavenly father.
Christians should perform all their jobs, tasks, responsibilities they are involved in as unto the Lord.
KJV 1 Cor 10: 31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
KJV Ephesians 6: 5Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
6Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
7With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.
Such a submissive attitude toward God creates a sense of awe, respect, honesty, in all Christians tackle and contributes to progessionalism, ethics, etc.
Servants of the Heavenly Father. Such is the spirit of a servant-leader!
B.Second after and under Potiphar. Head servant but not owner.
Because Joseph was a godly, good assistant in Potiphar’s house, God blessed his master’s house, his master’s business.
The purpose of good assistants is to see the Sr. Pastor they work for, the church they work in, be blessed. They are not in primarily to be blessed personally or to promote their own ministry; they are here to promote the church.
Any member of a church should function in a second role spirit, from the staff, to the board, to the teachers, etc.
We should all want God’s house to prosper.
We should all thrive to be holy, godly, so God can bless our church beyond measure.
The same principle applies in business: as employees, supervisors, managers, we should have the same spirit of service and use our energy for the good of the company we work for.
Christians are blessed where they are because of whom they are, godly people.
It is the testimony of David in Psalm 1
KJV Psalm 1: 1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Christians are called to be a blessing where they are.
The deported Jews, in Babylon, were to be a blessing to the city they were in.
Jeremiah’s message, his letter to the exiles expressed God’s plans for his people:
KJV Jeremiah 29: 7And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.
8For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.
9For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.
10For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
See how verse 11 depends on verse 7, here.
Employers should discover they have Christians as employees through the blessing, the success that comes to their company because of having hired, knowingly or unknowingly godly people.
Christian should be promoted as a result of God’s blessing on their work: Gen 39:4-5.
Slaves of Christ: Paul considered himself a slave of Christ. That is the spirit of an assistant.
Christ, the supreme servant set the example for us :
KJV Philippians 2: 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation , and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow , of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
He washed the feet of the disciples, taking the role of the lowest among the servants:
KJV John 13. 1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 2 And supper being ended , the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; 3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded . 6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter . 8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he , Ye are not all clean. 12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am . 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
Paul calls himself a voluntary slave of Christ.
Slaves of Christ, such is the spirit of a servant-leader.
C.Second in the prison:
KJV Gen 39: 19And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.
20And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
21But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
22And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
23The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.
1.Joseph finds favor with the prison goaler who puts him in charge of the prisoners.
Joseph prospered in the worst place, in prison.
Christians will prosper anywhere provided God placed them there.
Christian servants will prosper in difficult places, difficult churches, difficult groups; they will make a difference there.
Godly good working Christians find favor with their employers.
2.Part of Joseph’s work in prison was to “serve” high ranking prisoners.
Joseph’s service contributed to the liberation of one but not the other.
We do not always have 100% success rate because people are responsible for their lives.
Obviously the cup bearer was a better man than the baker. One was found guilty and executed while the other one was found innocent.
KJV Genesis 40: 1And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.
2And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers.
3And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.
4And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.
Applications: “Prison ministries” of all sorts.
When one serves in second position, he may have to serve prisoners.
Support groups are geared toward prisoners of passions, weaknesses, etc.
We should consider it as an honor when people open their hearts and share their weaknesses. Being condescending has no place.
Serving prisoners, visiting prisons, being a prison chaplain, or visiting hospitals(where people are prisoners in their bodies) .
Nursing home chaplains or visitors for people who are prisoners of their old age, limited in their movement, sometimes in their mind.
Such ministries require people who are willing to work behind the scenes, in the shadow, be in a second role. Such services may not be glamorous but are highly needed and appreciated.
Visiting the elderly, the “shut in”.
Ministries to the poor, imprisoned in financial limitations.
Salvation Army type ministries.
KJV Hebrews 13: 3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
KJV Matthew 24: 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
KJV Luke 4: 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted , to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised , 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Serving the ones in servitude.
3.Interpreting dreams is a second role servant ministry.
The ministry of interpretation places one in a second role position; it is exercised for the benefit of another.
You are always in second position, I know, I have been an interpreter for many years for other ministries, evangelists, teachers.
People were not interested in me. They were interested in the main speaker. I was just a voice.
The dream is not yours, it belongs to someone else. God has called others to something special and you help them sort it out.
Counselors are second position type ministries. They function for others, not themselves. It is a very tiring, demanding type of ministry.
But God and people need good interpreters, counselors.
Preachers, teachers should be always function is a second role spirit; as ministers, they are preaching God’s Word not their ideas.
Christ and the Kingdom must come first and foremost in our hearts, our motivations.
Joseph always put God first in his interpreting, giving God the glory.
KJV Genesis 41: 15And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.
16And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
All interpreters whether of dreams, of people’s lives through counseling, or of the Word of God through preaching or teaching, should function under God’s leadership. They should be interpreters of his word, his message, his glory.
Joseph was a complete interpreter: he did not just interpret the symbolic meaning of the dream, he gave the word of wisdom going with it.
The church needs teachers, preachers who not only preach the Word of God but also give the words of wisdom, the applications, how the Word is to be implemented to bring good results.
Ambassadors for Christ: that is the spirit of second role ministries.
KJV 2 Corinthians 5: 22 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
D.Second after and under Pharaoh and with great authority this time:
Because Joseph was a good second role person in interpreting dreams, always giving God the glory, he will be promoted to the second most high position in the Kingdom of Egypt.
KJV Genesis 41: 37And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.
38And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
39And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
40Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
Joseph found favor both with Pharaoh’s servants and the Pharaoh himself.
A good second role person, a good servant-leader finds favor both with the people he works for and with the people that are under him (v 37). The people under him respect him because he is like them in a sense, someone in a second role position.
Joseph was never a threat to Pharaoh. Joseph had no personal ambition.
Good servant-leaders are not a threat to the Senior pastors, they will not foment divisions.
Those are the kind of humble people who know their place that are needed to serve in the Church.
Joseph will be faithful to the Pharaoh to the very end of his life. He will not abandon Egypt to go live in Goshen.
Joseph carried his mission to the end. He delivered a complete job: coordinating the gathering the grain, its storing its distributing, dealing with the problems related to it, etc.
The church needs faithful servants, who go all the way and complete their service, people who have trained others and prepared their succession were they to be called somewhere else.
They are the “faithful, loyal men” to choose and share the responsibilities of leadership.
KJV 2 Tim 2: 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
E.Second after his Father again:
When his father shows up again in his life, Joseph treats him as number one and submits to him.
KJV Gen 47: 29And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt:
30But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their buryingplace. And he said, I will do as thou hast said.
31And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head.
Joseph submits to his father’s last will dictates.
Joseph gives his 2 sons to his father to be a part of the people of Israel standing for the tribe of Joseph.
KJV 48: 5And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.
F.Second after Judah in the spiritual family blessing.
Only Judah from whose tribe the Messiah will be born receives a larger blessing than Joseph.
Joseph received a blessing worthy of a man in a second role position, just next to the first.
KJV Genesis 49: 9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up : he stooped down , he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up ? 10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come ; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. 11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: 12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
KJV Genesis 49: 22Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
23The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
24But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)
25Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
26The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.
II.The “Andrew” ministry concept: the Servant-leader concept:
Even though Andrew discovered Jesus first and introduced Peter to Jesus, Andrew was never first, he always functioned in the shadow of big brother Peter.
By “Andrew type ministry” in this lesson we will mean “being in second position”, not being first, serving under another or behind another.
Let’s extend the second position notion to a wider meaning including, not only not being first but also any position lower than being in first position.
B.12 biblical examples of individual known to have occupied a second position:
Preliminary remark: Being in a second role or position does not imply any inferiority, all humans are created in God's image and are equal.
FAMILY SECOND POSITION:
SOCIAL SECOND POSITION:
Philippians 4: 2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord
MINSTRY SECOND POSITIONS:
SPIRITUAL SECOND POSITIONS:
c. List of required qualities to accept to serve in second position:
Knowing your place.
Sense of order, of hierarchy.
Ability to see the big picture, the common good.
True desire to contribute to the success of the organization.
Not ambitious. Some people accept to be second but with an agenda: get 1st when the opportunity shows up.
C.How to know if I should move back to be an “Andrew” rather than a “Peter”?
Let’s suppose I am in a 1st position but:
If I am abusive, if I abuse my power.
If I am very insecure.
If I always feel threatened.
If everything I do as a main leader falls apart (lack of success).
If I have no “anointing”.
If I do not have the gift of government.
If I make everybody miserable.
If I am reckless.
All the above negative attitudes may denote that I should regress to a second position, find contentment and make it easier for everyone else around.
Better be good second role person than a rotten first role one.
D.How do I know if I am an “Andrew” in his right place in a second position role?
When I have joy, peace, as in function under authority.
When I am efficient, effective while working under authority.
When I have the gifts that will complement those of a leader.
When God clearly shows me so.
E.We should all have the “spirit” of second position people!
Because Christ, our model, gave us the example by being voluntary a second position servant under his Father (Philippians 2:5-11).
Because Christ is the only one established as first head of the Church by God. He is the head and we are the submissive body parts (Ephesians 5:23).
Because we should all submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21).
KJV Eph 5: 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Because we are all servants and should be ready to wash each others’ feet (John 13: 14).
Because we belong to the Kingdom of God, not to the World : in the world people rule over each other said Jesus, not so in the kingdom of God.
Because he who loves does not seek first place or his own interests.
KJV 1 Corinthians 13: 4 Charity suffereth long , and is kind ; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself , is not puffed up , 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly , seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked , thinketh no evil;
Because we are called to be servant-leaders!
F.First position leaders should appreciate second position people.
They will not succeed with them.
They cannot do it all.
They need the other members of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27).
KJV 1Corinthians 12: 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Too many cocky Peters have damaged the church.
We need more serving humble faithful Andrews.
Do I serve or not?
Am I happy or not?
According to this lesson, why could it be so?
Do I have the spirit of a servant-leader that all of us should have?
Do I use it, do I help, and do I participate?
Why do I think I should accept to serve under other leaders?
What qualities do I have that could help others?
Who could I be a good assistant to, a good “number 2” in his/her team?
Who could my gifts and abilities help succeed?
Which of my gifts would specifically help him/her?
Which of my gifts would specifically help him/her?
Who could I serve?
Who could I bless?
Who could I help?
What “prisoners” could I help (people with various limitations)?
The young people?
What training could I take?
In what areas should I change?
Pray daily for these changes to happen.
Experiment and see how you grow by developing new attitudes, getting involved in new ways.