30 Days to Cultivating a Servant Heart

This inductive study is designed to help you better understand how to cultivate a servant heart. For the next 30 days read the questions and allow them to spark deeper personal reflection and life change.

Disciples of Christ are commanded to be servant-minded. The world, the flesh, and the devil would have us reject that and be self-serving, putting our self-realization, self-expression, and rights ahead of others. Christ shows what it looks like to be a servant and Scripture gives us truth to help us cultivate it. 

  1. Read Matthew 20:25. What is the natural human tendency when it comes to the choice between serving and being served? Where do you see that tendency in your life?
  2. Read Philippians 2:4. Should you neglect your interests for the sake of others’ interests? What is the mandate for believers regarding their personal interests?
  3. Read Philippians 2:1. Paul asks four questions to which the answer is yes. How should the comfort and encouragement you find in Christ motivate and encourage you?
  4. Read Matthew 20:20-28. What does Jesus say is the requirement to be a disciple of Christ? What does He say you need to be in order to become a leader?
  5. Read Matthew 20:25. Whose model of leadership were James and John following? What makes that model incompatible with leadership in Christ’s kingdom?
  6. Read Matthew 20:24. What caused the other 10 disciples to be indignant? What does this reveal about their hearts? What can you learn from power struggles like this?
  7. Read Matthew 20:28. Based on Christ’s example what is the purpose of being a servant? How can you set others free to love and serve God instead of serving you?
  8. Read Mark 10:45. How does the phrase “even the Son of Man” capture the characteristic of humility evident in Christ? What positions and rights could hinder you from serving others?
  9. Read Matthew 23:11-12. What is one of the greatest hindrances to servant living? What will eventually happen to those who exalt themselves?
  10. Read Luke 22:24-30. Christ was preparing to go to His death and the disciples seemed oblivious. How does preoccupation with self-interests ruin your capacity to properly relate to Christ?
  11. Read Luke 22:24-30. What interpersonal issues arose when the disciples failed to be servant-minded? How can a servant mindset help avoid church disharmony today?
  12. Read John 13:1-17. Why didn’t the disciples offer to wash each other’s feet in this story? How can you be more aware of service opportunities?
  13. Read John 13:1-17. In this story the disciples demonstrated an “I’m here to be served” mentality. What are ways you can avoid this attitude?
  14. Read John 13:1-17. What are some barriers to biblical servanthood? How can the desire for status or to feel important keep you from serving?
  15. Read John 13:1-17. Jesus lays aside his garments and puts on a towel. Why is this a fitting analogy of His assuming a role of a slave?
  16. Read John 13:1-3. Why was Jesus confident to become a servant? How does this relate to your identity and faith in Christ and becoming a servant to others?
  17. Read John 13:12-15. If the One you call Master humbled Himself to serve you and others what does that require of you?
  18. Read John 13:16-17. What is the promise to you if you understand you are a servant and follow the example of our Master? How will you experience that?
  19. Read 2 Corinthians 4:15-18. One hindrance to servant living is the desire to be served right now. How is staying focused on future reward a key to effective service?
  20. Read Hebrews 12:1-3. How does serving for joy in the future, like Jesus did, help you live as a servant now?
  21. Read Philippians 2:1-2. What four blessings are true for you because of the work of Christ? How are they to be a motivation to Christlike servant living?
  22. Read Philippians 2:1-2; Matthew 23:11-12. What is the secret to becoming great? What should your motive be when serving others?
  23. Read Matthew 23:11-13. What are some of the consequences of hypocritical or wrongly motivated service?
  24. Read 1 Peter 5:5. What is one consequence of failing to exercise humility and take on a servant attitude? What effect could that have on your life and ministry?
  25. Read Philippians 2:3-4. In order to serve others, what is the fundamental attitude you need? What attitudes could hinder you from becoming a servant?
  26. Read Philippians 2:5-11. Christ set the example by giving up His divine rights and privileges and submitting to the Father. How can you follow His example?
  27. Read Isaiah 53. In this passage Christ is portrayed as the suffering servant. How does this relate to your life? What can help you through suffering?
  28. Read Romans 12:1-2. What does every believer need to surrender to God and why? Why is this a prerequisite to effective service? How can you do this daily?
  29. Read Romans 12:3-8. What is the relationship between being a servant and the exercise of your gifts for the body of Christ? What steps can you take to do this?
  30. Read Ephesians 5:18; Colossians 3:16. What do these verses indicate are necessary for you to overcome your self-centredness and become servant-minded?