Characteristics of a Servant Heart

Posted on March 1, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters

I have read lots of leadership books over the past 45 years of my ministry life. One of the lessons that I have learned is that the best leaders are ones who have the heart of a servant.

Dr. Alistair Begg said in his devotional book, Truth for Life, “In God’s kingdom, the way up is actually down. Honor is found in giving it, not in receiving it. Greatness is displayed in serving, not it being served.”

Several years ago, I was a groomsman in a friend’s amazing wedding. It was the “Who’s Who” of participants in the ceremony. Dr. Tim LaHaye was the officiant. Beth Moore gave the charge to the bride and Dr. James Dobson gave the charge to the groom.

At the rehearsal, Dr. Dobson, who is over six feet, walked into the room and sat with the groomsman. One of the other men, who clearly had no idea who Dobson was, introduced himself to him and asked where he was from and what he did for a living.

I will never forget the response from Dr. Dobson. “My name is Jim, and I am part of a ministry in Colorado that serves families.” I smiled inside, thinking, how cool is that – “I am Jim, a man who serves families.”

Roy Lessin shares this list of characteristics of a servant leader:

  1. The presence of the Lord rests upon his life.
    He speaks with power and authority.
    3. He loves what God loves.
    4. He seeks God’s purposes.
    5. He is fearful of displeasing God.
    6. He inspires trust.
    7. His word is true.
    8. He is deeply identified with God’s heart.
    9. He is the same with everyone.
    10. He does not minister legalism or licentiousness.
    11. He is wise in his walk.
    12. He takes people beyond themselves.
    13. He despises anything that hurts others.
    14. He proclaims his dependence on God.
    15. He is well balanced.
    16. He is efficient, but not at the cost of others.
    17. His life is in order.
    18. Jesus is His audience.
    19. He knows how to bear injustice.
    20. He loves the truth.
    21. His goal is to know God, and make Him known to others.
    22. He is not satisfied if he doesn’t give his best.
    23. He is an optimist, not a pessimist.
    24. His greatest passion is Jesus.
    25. He delights in giving.
    26. Others say of him, “That is how my God is.”
    27. He doesn’t exploit others.
    28. He respects other servants.
    29. He is always learning.
    30. His convictions are firm, although he can be flexible.
    31. He loves being nothing.

Not the list you would expect to see on a typical resume – but what powerful characteristics!!!

Every one of us is a leader. Are you a husband? Then you are a leader. Are you a parent? Then you are a leader. As you look at that list – how are you doing? Think about it – then make the necessary adjustments to be a servant leader.

Anchored to the Rock,

Bill Welte, President/CEO
America’s Keswick

Email Bill:


Written by Bill Welte: President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his childhood sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 12 amazing grandkids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

Think About This: “Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to is as the highest price of every please and the deepest comfort in every pain. What was once foolishness to us – a crucified God – must become our wisdom and our power and out only boast in this world.” – John Piper

The Daily Bible Reading: Numbers 17-18. You can download our 2023 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; 2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night…” Psalm 92:1-2

Want to get away & have dedicated time to read & learn God’s Word?

Consider a retreat at America’s Keswick retreat center.


Recent Posts