Service is Defined by the One Being Served

Service is always defined by the one being served – not by the one serving. I am part of a conference team this summer helping the staff in our organization have a truly great experience. Our task is to serve them by creating moments of love and care. I like to help others, and even serve at times, but I can tend to do it on my own terms.

cross cultural servanthood imageI decided to refresh my memory about serving from a book I read during my Masters in Global Leadership – Cross Culture Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.  No matter where you are on your faith journey, servant leadership and humility are topics that are being discussed in many companies and leadership circles.

You certainly don’t need to travel to the other side of the globe to experience culture. Culture and diversity are all around us. Every day we cross cultures – people we meet and neighbors come with different values, backgrounds, personalities, family of origin if not from a different country. Every relationship is like a cross cultural experience.

You will find Elmer’s steps to serving valuable for any relationship in your life!

Serving : You can’t serve someone you do not understand.

Understanding: You can’t understand others until you have listened and learned about, with and from them.

Learning: You can’t learn important information from someone until they trust you.

Trust: To build trust, others must know you accept and value them; being vulnerable about your own growth and needs helps others do the same with you.

Acceptance: Before you can communicate acceptance, people must experience your openness – your ability to welcome them into your presence and feel safe.

Openness: Requires you are willing to step out of your comfort zone to initiate and sustain relationships with others who are different from you.

These six steps do not have be take long – getting to serve can often happen in a matter of a minute.

Which one of Elmer’s steps to serving do you want to employ today in order to become a better servant leader?

If you found this post to be helpful, you might also enjoy:

  1. 10 Ways That People Are Different  Learn how to appreciate and celebrate differences in others.
  2. The Servant-Leader  Six beliefs that servant leaders hold.
  3. Seven Ways to be a Better Giver  Discover some others ways to serve and give.
  4. 4 Early Warning Signs of a Narcissistic Leader  To what degree do are you self protective and self-focused in your relationships?
  5. What I Am Learning About Collaboration  How listening, understanding and being genuinely interested in others can make you a better person and leader.

About Steve Morgan

I work in Global Leadership Development with my wife, Terry. We have been married for 36 years and have 4 grown children. I have a Masters in Global Leadership together through Azusa Pacific University. I generally write about 5 “L’s: Living Well, Loving Deeply, Learning Continuously, Leading Courageously, and Leaving a Legacy. I occasionally write about Laughing Loudly. Subscribe on the right side to receive an email whenever there is a new post. I invite you to leave your comments so we can dialogue on the various topics and learn from each other. If you are new to the site, you might start with looking at some of the top posts or doing a search on the right sidebar for one of the 5 “L’s” that interest you. Or you can view the blog archives for topics. Photo Credit:
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2 Responses to Service is Defined by the One Being Served

  1. daylerogers says:

    Absolutely fascinating! I love that serving is a flow from personal commitment to personal authenticity. We can’t truly serve those we’re not willing to get to know–or allow them to know us. Thanks for this stellar reminder of what faith in action looks like, Steverino!

    • Steve Morgan says:

      Thanks Dayle. You are so spot on. Everything flows from who we are. I love the themes of the conference to create moments of love and care. Our attitude and listening can really go a long way in creating those moments. Thanks for reading and engaging the conversation.

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