Jesus: Nurse Leadership Model

The servant leadership model for healthcare has been much discussed in nursing literature. In the current issue of JCN, the article, “Demonstrating Servant Leadership During the COVID-19 Pandemic” includes a description of how Jesus himself personified a servant leader.

Jesus listened. Effective communication with intentional and receptive listening by the servant leader gives the team confidence. Jesus actively communicated with the Samaritan woman at the well without gender, racial, religious, or moral prejudice (John 4:4-42).

Jesus empathized. Empathy allows leaders to gain a clear perception of their followers' circumstances and viewpoints. Jesus demonstrated empathy when he wept with Mary and Martha at the grave of their brother, Lazarus (John 11:17-35). Hebrews 4:15 affirms that as our high priest, Jesus knows our weaknesses and empathizes with us.

Jesus healed. Nurses participate in the healing of individuals and communities. Jesus healed both bodies and broken spirits. In addition to a multitude of people who regained health and life from Jesus during his time on earth, he also declared his mission to heal sinners spiritually (Mark 2:17).

Jesus was aware. Servant leaders have a holistic awareness of ethics, values, and power and promote a supportive environment and positive outcomes. The leader creates a familiar, supportive environment to promote positive outcomes. Jesus was aware of the hearts and minds of those around him. He saw faith in ordinary people and skepticism in religious scholars (Luke 5:20-22).

Jesus persuaded. The servant leader uses persuasion and persistent communication for consensus building. Jesus used a persuasive strategy to build the Kingdom of God when giving the Great Commission. He specifically directed his followers “to go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19).

Jesus conceptualized. The servant leader must share information to help followers understand and address complex situations that move the group toward desired goals. Jesus accomplished this by teaching using parables (see Matthew 13 and the Parable of the Sower, and the Parables of the Lost Coin and Lost Son in Luke 15).

Jesus foresaw. A servant leader can anticipate a chronology of future events based on past and present facts. Jesus had foresight and understanding, describing the results of godly living (Matthew 24:36-44; Luke 6:20-23) and ungodly living (Luke 6:24-26; Luke 16:9-10).

Jesus was a good steward. Servant leaders move away from self-interest and control. Jesus invested in and empowered his disciples (Luke 9:1), acting with eternal purposes in mind.

Jesus was committed to others' growth. The servant leader is committed to building and strengthening people. Jesus invited his disciples to follow him and proceeded to equip them to do what he asked of them, for example, by teaching them how to pray (Luke 11) and how to communicate salvation to people around them (Luke 19:1-10).

Jesus built community. Sharing a common purpose and similar values is central to community building. Jesus drew his followers together, explaining how he would build his Church (Matthew 16:18) and directed his disciples to continue this work until his return (Matthew 26:46).

Read the full article, Demonstrating Servant Leadership During the COVID-19 Pandemic, by Simon, Mathew, and Thomas, in the October/December 2022 issue of the Journal of Christian Nursing (JCN).

JCN, both print and online, is one of multiple benefits of NCF membership. How about free and discounted CE, plus prayer and Bible study resources? And more!  Find out all that membership gives you to grow your relationship God as a Christian nurse, student, or educator.


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