God Does Not Need Middle Management by Robert Ricciardelli

This is going to all Popes, Apostles, Prophets, Bishops, Priests, and Pastors and any other leader who has influence over people. God relates with you directly, and does not need you to get between his relationships with others, as He desires to relate with them directly. You are called to point people to God and not to yourself or any other system or agenda. When you command that they look at you, serve you, get answers from you, you begin to minimize, dilute, and most times get in the way of their ability to hear Gods voice on their own.

You are called to lead as a servant. You are called to humility. You are called to communicate that everything they need is within them for Christ Himself; the hope of glory is within them. The people you serve are not called to serve your agenda, and you are called only to serve Fathers agenda for their lives, which may not have anything to do with your agenda.

God does not need middle management as He has all the management He needs by the power and revelation of His Holy Spirit on earth. Get out of His way, and serve only in His way. All Priest-craft must go, “apostle-craft, prophet-craft, and pastor-craft included,” and  they all must surrender to the Master-craft of all creation, Jesus our Lord. Ungodly hierarchy has no place in the Kingdom of God. Leaders are called to serve. The greatest of leaders becomes the servant of all.

Characteristics of Servant Leadership

“Being a leader in the church is never to be a force of personality, manipulation, or fear. It is to be a place of bringing godly influence and intention while earning that honor and respect because you truly love and care”

  • A servant leader is about being humble! They are never to be negative, condescending, or scheming.
  • A servant leader will have the willingness and enthusiasm to be encouraging and life giving to all of the people they touch.
  • A servant leader will recognize that life does not revolve around them, but rather on relationships. Their focus and motivation are not on their own ideas, but whatever is on the heart of God on the behalf of others. Non-servant leadership is often characterized by pride, self-absorption, self-protection, and self-interests.
  • A servant leader will give priority to others and value their opinions, knowing that they can have fuller view when they learn from others. They do not compare or criticize others.
  • A servant leader is first and foremost loyal to God, desires to serve others, and is not concerned about serving their own interests, manipulating, or seeking personal gain or control.
  • A servant leader desires to live in the nature of God; Love, grace, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, faithfulness, kindness, long suffering and truth.
  • They are people who have been transformed by Christ, with faith as the core of their being, and fueled by Christ, not self!
  • They are people who place the needs of others first!
  • They are people who have eternal values and God’s timing in mind!
  • They are people who place integrity ahead of ambition!
  • They are people who see glorifying Christ and serving Him as the measure of success!
  • Servant leaders will have a deep sense of purpose that comes from God, with His direction, identity, and eternal destiny in mind.
  • Servant leaders are meek (strength under control)! They are willing to challenge the system, ask questions, take risks, and, when necessary, they are willing to change.
  • Servant leaders, above all, desire to pursue their Christian formation to become excellent both in character and spirituality.
  • Servant leaders put down the desires of power, prestige, and possessions for the sake of service.
  • Servant leaders think strategically, see the big picture, then see all possible options to serve others and glorify the Lord.
  • Servant leaders do not seek power and or influence; rather, they are revolutionaries showing that the world’s ways are ineffective and unfruitful.
  • Servant leaders know how to lead themselves and others in order to bring the church deeper into the heart of God so to worship and glorify Him!
  • Servant leaders are not willing to compromise truth just to be more effective!
  • Servant leaders model the way, to get others to follow Christ and not themselves, empowering others to grow spiritually as the Lord leads them.
  • Servant leaders do not compare or judge one another. They do not seek to become what they are not, nor cause division, strife, or conflict.
  • Servant leaders do not leave conflict unresolved or festering. They are proactive in avoiding potential problems in by keeping the vision of Christ on the forefront and seeking how all can work together more efficiently in building His Kingdom.
  • Servant leaders will include the team and wise counsel in all major decisions and strategic planning for the ministry.
  • Servant leaders promote the atmosphere of unity as well as diversity. They are also willing and able to deal with disunity and divisions before they can poison the community culture.
  • Servant leaders remain vulnerable and willing to be challenged.
  • Servant leaders never micromanage or manipulate others; rather, they exercise their power in constructive ways to serve others and empower them to be more effective and character-driven.
  • Servant leadership is a team approach! The team knows that working together means giving without receiving, as well as growing spiritually, both personally and corporately!
  • Servant leaders put people before any organizational vision or purpose statement.
  • Servant leaders always tell the truth, stand for biblical values, and work to change what is not healthy in the church or community.
  • Servant leaders know that harmony, unity, trust, and commitment come from a collaborating, encouraging, and safe authentic environment.
  • Servant leaders realize they will face criticism, forfeit popularity, and be vulnerable to public and private rebuke and gossip. However, they stand strong, because they know they do not stand alone. Christ is with them.
  • Servant leaders are willing to listen to everyone, learn from everyone, and not just the ones in power or ones who have the influence!
  • Servant leaders listen; they never brag or boast, except about what Christ is doing.
  • Servant leaders are extremely important! All church leaders need to be servant leaders, as they will set the tone for a community of servants.
  • Servant leaders know that the effectiveness of their empowerment, training, and supervising of the team will determine the effectiveness of the ministry and church.
  • Servant leaders uphold and promote a vision that motivates, encourages, and inspires. They encourage cooperative objectives that promote Kingdom agendas that are never exclusive.
  • Servant leaders know that Jesus walked the earth as a revolutionary. He did not conform to any religious or world system. Spirit led leaders deliver their message with tender confidence, controlled power, and with passionate truth.
  • Servant leaders are never prideful and do not take themselves too seriously! They will never have inflated feelings about their importance or thrive on attention and admiration!

Begin to reflect on how you are leading.  Begin to reflect on whom you are following. Change can happen, but it is going to take each of us doing what is right. Do not follow leaders who manipulate and embellish, otherwise you are promoting their ways, and their systems.  The systems of man are not the Kingdom of God, and there is no greater thing to pursue than the Kingdom of God and the righteousness of our God in Christ. Begin to realize who you are as a son and daughter of the Most High God, and pursue Him. If you must follow a leader, follow those who have chosen to follow Christ, His nature, His likeness, and His service to mankind.

To all of the leaders who have desired to have followers to themselves and their agenda, I am asking you to lay it all down. You are called to lead by serving. You are called to lead people to the Divine One and not yourself. Regardless of what it costs in finance, popularity, or even influence, get righteous before your God. Do not let fear, competition, or any other ungodly emotion drive you to poor choices. All shepherds in the Kingdom of God are called to direct people the to the Great Shepherd so that they can hear His voice. Move in faith like never before, and watch God give you influence, joy, and peace that you never will realize in your present leadership trajectory. Do all things to the glory of God in bringing the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

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  • http://joanneellison.com joanne

    This is an outstanding article. As a ministry leader I am acutely aware of the weight of responsibility to lead as Christ leads. Thank you for reminding us all of the privilege of leading others to Christ.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertricciardelli Editor

      Thank you Joanne. Is there any other way to go?

  • Francis B.I.C.


  • Derek Brown

    As usual this is a powerful declration of what God is doing in these days and demanding of leaders. Servant Leadership has been a popular point since Robert Greeenleaf wrote his book many years ago and every leader I know would agree with the points that you have made (but then many would act and perform like a king)

    At this time when the Lord is highlighting the essential of the kingdom (by shaking everything) rather than the church I do wonder whether there is a new breed of leader to emerge – a slave leader, one who is greater than a servant (Matt 20:26/27) truly apostolic leaders who ‘possess nothing yet have everything.’ (2 Cor 6:10)

    Imagine an article on ‘slave leadership’ how popular would that be?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertricciardelli Editor

      Derek, you are so right. I have had many Amen’s even in my team training of leaders and know some of the leaders who would consciously or unconsciously continue to lead like tyrants. Really sad..

  • Ian Campbell

    Brilliant article as I often wonder if the focus is on Jesus when we anounce a speaker, a church or a leader, Some church leaders have become like rockstars. At the end of the day Jesus is the only way to the father not through your favorite preacher

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertricciardelli Editor

      Amen, the show has got to go, and the Rockstars in the Kingdom will eventually will need to go low or get out lol

  • Tim Radloff

    This is a brilliant and succinct article on Servant Leadership. This is exactly what the Lord Jesus Christ taught and practised. Every church leader whether old, young, experienced or novice should be presented with this article and be challenged by carrying out what is presented. What a wonderful transformation this would bring to the programme-centred, goal-oriented and so-called ‘successful’ church today. The closer we get back to the humble early church the better. Only then will we become the future bride for our coming King.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertricciardelli Editor

      Amen Tim, I totally agree

  • Rev. Bobbi

    Praise the Lord for this very insightful and needed reminder of our position in the Kingdom of God. I am sharing this with others. Keep up the good work.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertricciardelli Editor

      Amen brother

  • Sherrie

    THANK YOU! AWESOME message.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertricciardelli Editor

      Thanks Sherrie

  • http://www.10452lccc.com Elias Bejjani

    great piece. It hits the nail right and defines the duties of he who is called to serve. I liked it very much.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertricciardelli Editor

      Thanks Elias.. God bless

  • http://jamie@safemoneyforyou.com Jamie

    This is painfully incisive if one REALLY plans to do all they can to implement it. It is easy to say amen, harder to be the amen…A young boy asked his father who all the people were who were cheering and laughing and clapping for the soldiers in Britain getting on the trains to go off to WW l. His father replied, “they are all the ones who are not going”. So thanks (sorta), now we are stewards of far more responsibility.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertricciardelli Editor

      Amen Jamie, Thanks

  • http://www.stpeterstaunton.org.uk Iain McFarlane

    I so value this article as it has articulated what I want to aspire to in leadership. It’s difficult when leading such a small church to not fall into the trappings of ministry you describe. But we must fix our eyes on the servant rolemodel of our Lord and Saviour. Thanks mate. Spot on.

  • http://www.stpeterstaunton.org.uk Iain McFarlane

    I so value this article as it has articulated what I want to and try to aspire to in leadership as a Priest in The Church of England. It’s difficult when leading such a small church to not fall into the trappings of ministry you describe. But we must fix our eyes on the servant rolemodel of our Lord and Saviour. Thanks mate. Spot on.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertricciardelli Editor

      Thanks Lain… Amen…

  • Edwina Sitko

    how powerful! so much for popularity in the pulpit..reminds me of 2 Tim 3….maybe we are in the last days…godlessness abounds then again so DOES HIS GRACE..

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertricciardelli Editor

      Amen Edwina… Love, mercy, and grace will win in the end :)