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Servant of All: Reframing Greatness and Leadership through the Teachings of Jesus (Enlow)

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Kirkdale Press

What did Jesus really mean when he said, "Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, the servant of all" (Mark 9:35)?

Servant leadership is commended by popular leadership writers and scholars. However, much of the practical, theoretical, and even theological commentary on servant leadership doesn't do the Bible justice. It fails to account for the context and history of interpretation around this often-quoted saying of Jesus. This context has everything to do with a truly biblical understanding of servant leadership, and that's what Servant of All unfolds.

In a culture where greatness is often confused with fame or competence, Servant of All is a much-needed correction.

This useful guide includes personal and group reflection questions, ideal for ministry training and discipleship.


Table of Contents: 

Part 1: Misunderstanding Greatness

1. A Teachable Moment

2. Resentment at the Rock

3. Private Screening

4. Failure and Futility

5. The Presumption of Eminence

Part 2: Jesus' Sermon on Greatness

6. The Positioning of Greatness

7. The Prerogatives of Greatness

8. The Powers of Greatness

9. The Priorities of Greatness

10. The Pursuit of Greatness

11. The Pleasure of Greatness



Ralph E. Enlow, Jr. serves as president of the Association for Biblical Higher Education ( Previously, Dr. Enlow served for 28 years as an educational leader at his alma mater, Columbia International University, culminating in a six-year stint as senior vice president and provost. A founding member of Global Associates for Transformational Education (, he has been involved in international teaching and consulting in over a dozen countries.



"In this thoughtful, practical, and penetrating look at leadership, Ralph Enlow transparently guides readers to think biblically, wisely, and carefully regarding important issues of character and greatness with a focus on the teachings of Jesus. Servant of All addresses matters of the heart and the significance of relationships in a step-by-step process, doing soul surgery along the way with astute observations about comparisons and competition. Those who take the time to reflect on these insightful and applicable lessons will be better suited and equipped for God's calling on their lives as well as for various opportunities of leadership in the church and church-related entities. I am pleased to recommend Servant of All to seasoned leaders, developing leaders, and those just beginning to prepare for such opportunities." — David S. Dockery, President, Trinity International University/Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"There is no lack of books on leadership, but when it comes to a deep understanding of the practicalities of servant leadership, there is! In his lucid and down-to-earth style, Dr. Enlow presents a profound biblical explanation of both greatness and servanthood. What leaders in our churches, institutions, organizations and communities need nowadays is character formation. This book is a major step toward achieving such goal. It is somehow easy to write on servanthood, but it is a real challenge to practice it. Having known and observed Dr. Enlow for many years I can honestly say that he does practice what he writes!" — Riad Kassis, International Director, International Council for Evangelical Theological Education; International Director, Langham Scholars Ministry, Langham Partnership

"In Servant of All, Ralph Enlow gives us a fresh look at a familiar passage by engaging the words of Jesus in the rich context of multiple interactions with the disciples. The full force and weight of servant leadership is even more powerful when viewed from this perspective. This book is a welcome alternative to the reductionism of a sound bite leadership culture. I highly commend it to you." — Steve Moore, President, nexleader, author, The Top 10 Leadership Conversations in the Bible