Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Conduct a literature review of the major studies of servant leadership. Note that every line in a literature review must be properly cited. You must cite 15 scholarly, peer-reviewed journ - EssayAbode

Conduct a literature review of the major studies of servant leadership. Note that every line in a literature review must be properly cited. You must cite 15 scholarly, peer-reviewed journ

Conduct a literature review of the major studies of servant leadership. Note that every line in a literature review must be properly cited.

• You must cite 15 scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles in your literature review section.
• Based upon this literature review, you must develop the major criteria of servant leadership behavior.
• You may include as part of your criteria a brief summary from your individual Biblical Integration Project (attached).
• This part is to be 3 pages, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and in the APA current edition

Biblical Integration in Human Resource Management

School of Business Liberty University

Man-Centered and Christ-Centered Servant Leadership

Servant leadership has become a notable approach within the domain of Human Resource Management (HRM) (Deno, 2017). This leadership model is examined through two primary perspectives: man-centered (contemporary/worldly) and Christ-centered (biblical) approaches. This paper aims to explore these dimensions, analyzing their underlying assumptions, practices, and implications for HRM. By scrutinizing the man-centered perspective through a biblical lens and establishing a robust foundation for Christ-centered leadership, the paper seeks to delineate the core differences and alignments between these paradigms.

From a man-centered perspective, servant leadership involves uplifting individuals and promoting service within an organizational framework. Although this perspective recognizes the significance of contributing to others' well-being, it often lacks a profound moral foundation rooted in eternal values provided by religious scriptures such as the Bible. Consequently, man-centered servant leadership treats leadership as an end rather than a means to a spiritual goal (Coley et al., 2023). Managers operating within this paradigm might emphasize empowering people and achieving organizational goals and self-interests, often sidelining implicit spiritual dimensions. Moreover, this perspective does not always acknowledge one's sinfulness and the need for salvation through Jesus Christ (Deno, 2017). Thus, while individuals might exhibit humility and empathy, those without a Biblical worldview can practice servant leadership without spiritual transformation.

Conversely, Christ-centered servant leadership is founded on scriptural principles that differ from man-centered approaches. This perspective asserts that Christ-like servant leadership emanates from faith in Christ and the desire to emulate Him (McLeroy, 2023). A Biblical worldview acknowledges the nature of sin and the necessity of salvation through Jesus Christ. Leaders within this paradigm understand that authentic servant leadership is unattainable without recognizing their need for God and their willingness to obey Him (Huizing, 2022; Riddlebarger, 2024). An essential aspect of Christ-centered servant leadership is the biblical notion of covenant, which promotes accountability, reciprocity, continuous communication, and cooperation due to the interdependence of individuals within a community or organization (Pleasant, 2021). By adopting this covenantal perspective, leaders can cultivate an organizational culture grounded in accountability, mutual responsibility, and respect. This approach emphasizes the importance of each individual's contribution to the collective well-being, decentralizes power, and fosters collaboration and trust. Leaders who adhere to this framework prioritize serving others and empowering team members, thereby creating a workplace characterized by integrity and humility.

The Bible supports this paradigm, stating, “…Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28, New International Version). Philippians 2:3-4 (New International Version) also underscores, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

In HRM, man-centered and Christ-centered servant leadership have significant implications for organizational culture, employee engagement, and overall effectiveness. Man-centered servant leadership in HRM may focus on maximizing employee productivity without necessarily adhering to spiritual or moral values. While initiatives such as employee empowerment and development are crucial, they may lack the transformative potential inherent in follower-leader practices guided by biblical teachings (Zheng, 2023). Conversely, Christ-centered servant leadership in HRM integrates spirituality and Christian teachings into organizational practices. Managers who embrace this approach aim to develop a workplace that is ethical, humane, and focused on the well-being of others (Stites, 2021). This transformative potential of Christ-centered servant leadership can inspire and bring hope for a more meaningful and fulfilling work environment.

Implementing man-centered servant leadership in HRM involves creating a collaborative workplace culture through participative decision-making, extensive training, and incentives encouraging teamwork and creativity. There is a significant emphasis on staff training and development, with leaders striving to enhance employee performance and career advancement (Moore, 2024). Additionally, telecommuting and wellness programs are promoted to improve work-life balance, thereby enhancing overall morale and productivity.

On the other hand, implementing Christ-centered servant leadership in HRM involves several approaches aimed at fostering an organizational culture rooted in biblical values and the leadership style of Jesus Christ. Firstly, HRM leaders can create a culture of servant leadership by emulating Christ's humility, empathy, and sacrificial service. This involves prioritizing the team's interests, promoting cooperation, and demonstrating selflessness in decision-making. Secondly, HRM can facilitate employees' spiritual development by encouraging participation in mentorship programs, counseling services, or work-related prayer groups, thus supporting personal and professional growth within the context of faith and values (Moore, 2024). Thirdly, biblical principles are integral to ethical decision-making, ensuring that honesty, respect, and justice are upheld throughout recruitment, performance appraisal, and conflict resolution processes.

Furthermore, HRM can promote good health and support services, such as counseling and health improvement programs, and offer flexible working conditions, recognizing the inherent value of each individual regardless of productivity (Lewa et al., 2019). Finally, a Christian worldview in HRM acknowledges the importance of supporting diversity and inclusion, recognizing that everyone bears God's image. This includes enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion practices to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute to organizational objectives. By espousing Christ-like servant leadership, HRM can foster an organizational culture where employees are treated with love, forgiveness, and appreciation, creating a supportive and nurturing environment that encourages personal growth and community.

In conclusion, the primary differences between man-centered and Christ-centered servant leadership include their foundational principles and ultimate objectives. While both approaches emphasize serving others, the Christ-centered perspective incorporates biblical principles, leading to higher levels of authenticity, effectiveness, and satisfaction in the workplace. Adopting Christ-centered servant leadership in HRM can significantly enhance trust, cooperation, and overall well-being for both employees and organizations. This reiteration of the benefits of Christ-centered servant leadership can instill a sense of optimism and positivity in the audience, envisioning a better future for HRM and organizational leadership.


Blanchard, K. H., & Broadwell, R. (2018). Servant leadership in action: How you can achieve great relationships and results. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., a BK Business book.

Coley, K. S., MacCullough, M. E., & MacCullough, D. L. (2023). Transformational teaching: Instructional design for christian educators. B&H Academic.

Deno, F. (2017a). (dissertation). A quantitative examination of the relationship between servant leadership and age on organizational commitment in faith-based organizations.

Holy Bible, New International Version, (2011). Biblica, Inc.

Huizing, R. L. (Ed.). (2022).  Grace leadership: A biblical perspective of compassion in management (1st ed.). Springer International Publishing.

Lewa, P. M., Lewa, S. K., & Mutuku, S. M. (2018). Leading from the heart: Lessons from Christian leadership. Management for Professionals, 137–157.

McLeroy, A. N. W. (2023). Seeking biblical clarity through blended worship in Georgia baptist churches (dissertation). Seeking biblical clarity through blended worship in Georgia Baptist churches.

Moore, A. T. (2024). Biblical leadership development: Essential Components in servant leadership (dissertation). Biblical leadership development: essential components in servant leadership.

Pleasant, R. (2021). A case study: The servant called to lead as Head of School of a PK-12 private faith-based school in North Central florida (dissertation). A case study: the servant called to lead as head of school of a PK-12 private faith-based school in North Central Florida. Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va.

Riddlebarger, K. (2024). First Corinthians – The Lectio Continua Commentary Series (2nd ed.). Reformation Heritage Books.

Stites, E. K. (2021). (dissertation). Promotion of leaders based on skills not related to leadership. Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va.

Zheng, M. (2023). Developing a biblical principle of worship curriculum for the choir at first Chinese Baptist Church, San Antonio, TX (dissertation). Developing a Biblical principle of worship curriculum for the choir at First Chinese Baptist Church, San Antonio, TX.


Biblical Servant Leadership



An Exploration of Leadership for the Contemporary Context

Christian Faith Perspectives in Leadership and Business

Series Editors Kathleen Patterson

School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Doris Gomez Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Bruce E. Winston Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Gary Oster Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA, USA

This book series is designed to integrate Christian faith-based perspectives into the field of leadership and business, widening its influence by taking a deeper look at its foundational roots. It is led by a team of experts from Regent University, recognized by the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities as the leader in servant leadership research and the first Christian University to integrate innovation, design thinking, and entrepreneurship courses in its Masters and Doctoral programs. Stemming from Regent’s hallmark values of innovation and Christian faith-based perspectives, the series aims to put forth top-notch scholarship from current faculty, students, and alumni of Regent’s School of Business & Leadership, allowing for both scholarly and practical aspects to be addressed while providing robust content and relevant material to readers. Each volume in the series will contribute to filling the void of a scholarly Christian-faith perspective on key aspects of organizational leadership and business such as Business and Innovation, Biblical Perspectives in Business and Leadership, and Servant Leadership. The series takes a unique approach to such broad-based and well-trodden disciplines as leadership, business, innovation, and entrepreneurship, positioning itself as a much-needed resource for students, academics, and leaders rooted in Christian-faith traditions.

More information about this series at

Steven Crowther

Biblical Servant Leadership

An Exploration of Leadership for the Contemporary Context

Christian Faith Perspectives in Leadership and Business ISBN 978-3-319-89568-0 ISBN 978-3-319-89569-7 (eBook)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2018944428

All scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Version unless otherwise noted: Scriptures are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD (NAS): Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, copyright© 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Scriptures marked NIV are taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV): Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™. Used by permission of Zondervan

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors, and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Cover illustration: ISerg / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Printed on acid-free paper

This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by the registered company Springer International Publishing AG part of Springer Nature. The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland

Steven Crowther Grace College of Divinity Fayetteville, NC, USA


1 The Foundation of Servant Leadership Theory 1 Servant Leadership According to Greenleaf 1 Servant Leadership in Twenty-First-Century Literature 3 Servant Leadership According to Patterson and Winston 5 Servant Leadership Research 8 The Next Steps in Leadership 9 Conclusion 10 References 10

2 Servant Leadership in Context 13 In the Context of Leadership Theory 13 In the Context of Followers 14 In the Context of the Business World 17 In the Context of the Church World 19 In the Global Context 21 Conclusion 22 References 23

3 The Strengths of Servant Leadership 25 Values-Driven Leadership 26 Effective and Ethical Leadership 28 Servant Leadership and Organizational Culture 29


vi Contents

Servant Leadership and Leadership Development 30 The Goals of Servant Leadership 32 Servant Leadership and the Negative 34 Conclusion 35 References 36

4 Servant Leadership in the Old Testament 39 Examples of Leaders in the Old Testament 41

Genesis: Joseph 41 Exodus 3 and 18: Moses 44 Esther 4–5: Esther 51

Instructions for Leaders in the Old Testament 52 God as the Model Leader in the Old Testament 53 Pictures of Leaders in the Old Testament 53

Shepherd: Kings, Priests, Elders 53 Suffering Servant: Isaiah 52–53 54 Levites 55

The Prophets as Servants: Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Elijah 56 The Texts of Servant Leadership in the Old Testament 57

2 Sam. 17:27–29; 19:31–40; 1 Kings 2:7—Barzillai 57 1 Kings 3: Solomon 58 Nehemiah 58 1 Samuel: David and Saul 60

The Failure of Leadership in the Old Testament 63 Judges: Samson, Gideon 63 Prophets: Elisha’s Servant 65 Shepherds Who Failed Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 34 66 The Failure of Moses 70

Servant Leadership or Shepherd Leadership 71 Leadership Lessons from the Old Testament 71 Conclusion 72 References 72

5 Servant Leadership in the Life of Jesus 75 Instructions About Serving 76

Mark 10 76 Matthew 28 82

vii Contents

John 13, John 21 84 Luke 7 87

Jesus as the Example of Servant Leadership 89 1 Peter 2 89 Phil 2 90

Conclusion 93 References 94

6 Leadership in the New Testament 97 Servant Leadership in the Book of Acts 98

Barnabas 98 Aeneas 99 Priscilla and Aquila 100 Peter as the Servant Leader 100 Instructions to Leaders 103

Servant Leadership in the Epistles 105 Romans and Corinthians 105 The Prison Epistles 113 The Pastoral Epistles 117 The General Epistles 123 Apocalyptic Servant Leadership 126

Other Leadership Issues and Models in the New Testament 127 Leadership Lessons from the New Testament 128 Conclusion 131 References 131

7 Biblical Servant Leadership 135 Biblical Concepts for Servant Leadership 135 Biblical Love in Leadership 141 The Difference and the Cohesion in the Servant Leadership Models 145 Moving from Concept to Application 146 Application in the Business World 148 Application in the Church World 149 Conclusion 150 References 151

viii Contents

8 A Call for Biblical Leadership 153 Existing Research on Biblical Leadership 153 Moving on in Biblical Leadership 154 Application of Biblical Leadership 158 Biblical Leadership: Pioneers or Settlers 159 Conclusion 163 References 165

Index 167


Fig. 5.1 Chiasm from Mark 10:45 79 Fig. 6.1 Biblical model of leadership from 1 Timothy 3:1–7 122 Fig. 7.1 Biblical servant leadership 148 Fig. 8.1 Biblical leadership 157

List of Figures


Table 4.1 Repetitive and progressive texture of scenes of Exodus 3:1–15 45 Table 4.2 Contrasts of shepherding from bad leadership 69 Table 5.1 Mark 10:42–45 patterns 79 Table 5.2 The progression of the life of Christ 92 Table 6.1 Contrasts for shepherd leaders 102 Table 6.2 The inner texture of I Timothy 3:1–7 119

List of Tables


Though leadership has been an issue of discussion for many centuries, as well as among recent researchers, there has been little agreement on the description of leadership. In the twentieth century, leadership has been a topic of study by researchers with no consensus on the definition of lead- ership, but only that it concerns influence in the accomplishment of group objectives (House, Hanges, Javidian, Dorfman, & Gupta, 2004). This vast array of differing conceptions of leadership has created a bewil- dering body of literature with differences from one writer to another in the field of leadership (Yukl, 2012). However, in the midst of this discus- sion has entered the concept of spirituality as found in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and its impact on leadership. Weber (1968) based his concepts for religious leadership upon the lives of certain religious leaders, like Moses, Buddha, Mohammed, and Jesus. Nevertheless, McClymond (2001) found it striking that there was not much discussion of religious leadership among scholars in the twentieth century. Yet, with the turn of the twenty-first century, there has been a turn to spirituality in leadership studies (Bekker, 2008). This turn to spirituality has included the development of theories of leadership with a spiritual component like spiritual leadership (Fry, 2003), servant leadership (Patterson, 2003), and authentic leadership (Avolio, Gardner, Walumbwa, & May, 2004; Klenke, 2007). This turn to spirituality in leadership studies has also included distinctively Christian leadership models like kenotic leadership


xiv Introduction

(Bekker, 2006). This is not to say that spirituality and servant leadership are the same. In addition, this does not mean that this turn to spirituality is necessarily Christian with a focus on biblical foundations for leader- ship. Servant leadership exists without the issues of spirituality. However, this turn to spirituality with a focus on biblical concepts could inform not only servant leadership but other forms of leadership as well. Many have discussed leadership in the context of Christianity and Scripture including Augustine, Martin Luther, and the writers of the Christian Scriptures (Guinness, 2000). Some of the writers of Christian Scriptures who addressed leadership were Mark, Paul, and Peter. Research has been done by some authors on the impact of the writers of Christian Scripture and the ministry of Jesus (Bekker, 2006; Self, 2009; Zarate, 2009) on contemporary leadership. Clinton (2012) developed leadership emer- gence theory based upon his broad study of leaders in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures as well.

Nevertheless, this source for leadership theory needs further investiga- tion for at least two reasons. First, this is a new area of research for con- temporary leadership that has only gained ascendancy since the turn of the century. Second, this is a broad source for research in the area of leadership and much more needs to be done to develop profundity as well as breadth from this rich resource of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.

In response to this need, some scholarly journals have begun in the twenty-first century, such as The Journal for Biblical Perspectives in Leadership and The Journal of Religious Leadership, to promote research in the areas of Christian Scriptures, Christian spirituality, and leadership. In this area of research, there is much to be examined and gained for con- temporary leadership development and understanding. In contemporary leadership, one result of neglecting the spiritual dimension in leadership is a void of values, and in response to many public failures, a movement of spirituality is awakening in businesses across the country (Gibbons, 2008). In the context of this nexus of the Scriptures and leadership, pos- sibly there is a way to discover new models for effective leadership for the future. Many contemporary theories of leadership have focused primarily on behavior like leadership practices (Kouzes & Posner, 2017), transfor- mational leadership, and the skills or style approach (Northouse, 2015), while others focused on the culture of the organization (Cameron & Quinn, 2011) including an emphasis on changing leadership behavior.

xv Introduction

Yet, leadership is not just behaviors or styles; it involves internal issues as well. Internal issues such as character. Character is central to good leadership and character is the inner form that makes a person who he/ she is and it provides the leader’s deepest source of bearings (Guinness, 2000). The issue of personhood or ontology comes to the fore in this discussion and involves spirituality particularly as found in the Christian Scriptures. This is important in that leadership as seen in the Scriptures is ontological in that leadership proceeds from the being of the person and not just the behavior of the person. Though those like Machiavelli (1515/2016) said that internal issues such as character and integrity are not important components of leadership, writers of the Scriptures dis- agree. In 1 Peter, Peter exhorted the leaders to follow the example of Jesus—Jesus set the example of servant leadership, but this concept per- meates the pages of both Old and New Testaments. Therefore, the writ- ings of the Scripture need thorough examination for understanding teaching concerning servant leadership and leadership in general and its proper appropriation for contemporary contexts. In this search, it is pos- sible that even better models for leadership could be discovered from the wisdom of antiquity.

Leadership studies do not generally embrace theology in the process of research (Ayers, 2006). However, in the past, theology or research from the Scriptures has been a valuable source of research. Medieval theolo- gians believed that theology was the queen of the sciences (i.e. of the domains of knowledge) and philosophy was her handmaid; but in our day, theology has been largely banished from the university (DeWeese & Moreland, 2005). Theology has fallen from this place of prominence to be replaced by pragmatism and empiricism. Instead of searching for truth in theological foundations, truth is now sought in answering questions of function. Does it work in accomplishing the objectives? If something accomplishes certain determined objectives, then it is assumed that it is true and this truth is used for developing a theory. Nevertheless, this is quite Aristotelian that truth lies in the physical world. It would be more productive to find truth then apply it to the physical world, a move from internals to externals. While this sounds Platonic, it is not Platonic thinking that drives this as much as theological thinking. Thinking theo- logically is a view from the perspective of divine intention and prerogative

xvi Introduction

rather than a view from below which is anthropological—an effort to find truth as it happens—and is troubled by misshapen self-issues. Many times science asks for an outside objective viewpoint, but is that possible when we study ourselves and we are the researcher and the researched? Theology from Scripture lifts us out of this research circle so we can catch a glimpse from above concerning the human issue of leadership. Nevertheless, the- ology is not unacquainted with the necessity of circularity since no quest for truth can escape from the necessity of this hermeneutic circle, linking the encounter with reality to an interpretive point of view, so science and theology are joined in a relationship of mutual illumination and correc- tion (Polkinghorne, 2007). Scripture must be brought back to the research arena, not to displace science, but as a partner in a search for truth that is more than empirical. Science and theology are both concerned with the search for truth, and they share common ways of approaching this search for understanding as well as sharing a common conviction that there is truth to be sought (Polkinghorne, 2007). Therefore, it is in this conver- gence of science or research and theology from Scripture that truth is sought for leadership in the contemporary setting.

The ramifications for leadership from the principles of Scripture are sig- nificant. This is a way of leadership and leadership development that is not only countercultural but also sensitive to eternal issues of theology that are important. This leadership in Scripture is specifically designed for leading the church in antiquity and in contemporary settings as well. The implica- tions are that if the biblical foundation for leadership could be found, it could bring new ground for effectiveness. This then would have implica- tions for leadership in multiple contexts in the twenty-first century includ- ing business, education, and government settings as well as in the church.


Avolio, B. J., Gardner, W. L., Walumbwa, W. O., & May, D. (2004). Unlocking the Mask: A Look at the Process by Which Authentic Leaders Impact Follower Attitudes and Behaviors. Leadership Quarterly, 15(6), 801–823.

Ayers, M. (2006). Towards a Theology of Leadership. Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership, 1, 3–27.