In this Issue

<$firstname$>, hello!

Feature Article: Servant Leadership Lessons Jesus Modeled for our Leadership & our Lives

Suzanne Recommends:

Complimentary Inspirational Women's Garden Club, Feb 27, Wed, 7 pm EST

  • Servant Leadership Lessons Jesus Modeled for our Leadership & our Lives, Wed, Feb 27, 7 pm EST

Servant Leadership Lessons Jesus Modeled for our Leadership & our Lives

Many of you may be parents already, and some of you have the privilege of being grandparents! My husband and I are new parents - our son just turned four months old last week! Wow, the time is just flying by. A dear friend recently reminded me to enjoy this time with our son while he is young, as she had thought it would be so long before her children were in kindergarten, and now they've all graduated from college!

As we've adjusted to our new little one and the responsibilities he brings, I reflected on the servant leadership lessons associated with being a parent, and how Jesus modeled these lessons for us, and how the Lord daily models these lessons for us. As we seek to be conformed to the image of Christ, we can model our lives and leadership to his by the power of His Holy Spirit.

I've discovered there are three leadership principles characteristic of Jesus' leadership of us. You can incorporate these as leaders or as parents, or both, depending upon the spheres of influence to which God has called you. Let's look at these principles together to help you strive to lead as Jesus does in every area of your life.

  1. Our presence is most important.

    First, our presence as parents and leaders is most important. When Carter's upset or distressed, it's most important to him that "Mommy's here," or "Daddy's here." If we are there, he feels assured that we will bring him comfort, food, reassurance or whatever else he needs.

    Likewise, in our personal relationship with the Lord, we can always be assured of His presence, and particularly when we're in distress. One of my favorite passages is Psalm 34:18, which promises us that "the LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

    Knowing we're "there" for those we lead, whether it's our family, our teams or those in your church, your presence is most important in building trust and reassurance into your leadership and your relationship.

  2. We're to be focused on providing for the needs of those entrusted to our care and on their best.

    As parents, my husband and I are to be focused on providing for the needs of our son and on what is best for him. He need not worry about where his next meal will come from, or if he'll have a roof over his little head to sleep at night. God, likewise, is focused on providing our needs, and promises in Matt. 6:25-34 to do so as we seek first His kingdom.

    As leaders, we're to focus on protecting and providing for the needs of those under our care, whether our physical family or our spiritual family. Some leaders are especially gifted in this way with a spiritual gift of pastor, which leads them to protect and provide for those spiritually under their care. This may include protecting them from wrong choices, and intervening in their lives, even when that intervention may be unwanted.

    However, often leaders are focused on getting their own needs met, rather than on meeting the needs of those they lead. A close family member is experiencing this in the workplace with a leader, and it's painful to hear illustrations of this particular self-serving leader's actions on an ongoing basis.

    Yet this is not a new problem. In the Old Testament when the nation of Israel asked for a human king rather than continuing to be lead directly by God as a theocracy, God warned Israel through the prophet, Samuel, in 1 Samuel 8:

  3. "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.

God chastised the evil shepherds of Israel in Ezekiel 34:1, 8, saying,

    "Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. ... my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock."

    However, Jesus' leadership is quite different. The beautiful illustration of the Good Shepherd in John 10 reveals Jesus' leadership qualities as He works with His sheep. He provides for them, protects them and leads them out into green pastures and still waters. This is the kind of leader you and I want to strive to become.

  1. It takes a "team."

    In parenting, it takes a "team." Gil and I work together to take care of our son. He mentioned recently how much we feel like a "team," particularly as we care for our son. God is a relational God, too, working in tandem with Jesus and the Holy Spirit to carry out His will in our lives and in the world.

    Likewise in leadership, it takes a "team." It's easy to fall into the pattern of being "lone rangers" as leaders and doing everything ourselves. It can be faster, yet it doesn't allow for the use of everyone's gifts and in the end, we don't accomplish as much.

    Ecc. 4:9-10 tells us: " Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Make sure you have people around who can "help you up!"

    Perhaps you've felt as you read this article that you're already a servant leader and content with the quality of your leadership. But for those who do want to continue to enhance their leadership and their lives, let's review the keys to victory as we seek to grow as servant leaders in every realm of our life.

Keys to Victory along the Journey

  • Remember it is our "presence" that is most important for those we lead, especially in times of distress. And our presence needs to reassuring, not punitive, to those we lead.

  • As servant leaders, we're to be focused on providing for the needs of those entrusted to us and on their best. Only the Lord can give us wisdom as to how best to do this.

  • Remember it takes a "team." Build a team of like-minded leaders around you who share a common philosophy of leadership and ministry. With them and you, God will be able to accomplish great things!

Streams in the Desert I, another of my favorite devotionals, has a wonderful devotional from Feb 8 about the constancy of God's presence and His everlasting care in our lives.

"Lo, I am with you all the appointed days (Matt. 28:20)

Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear. Rather look at them with full hope that, as they arise, God, who you are, will deliver you out of them He has kept you hitherto; do you but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand, He will bear you in His arms.

Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow, and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

(Frances de Sales)

If you would like to hear more topics like these, please join us for the February "Inspirational Women's Garden Club" event on Wednesday, February 27, at 7 p.m. EST. For more information, contact Suzanne at We'd love to have you join us and bring a friend, too!

February Coaching Special

With enrollment this month in the Inspirational Women's Garden Club, you’ll receive a complimentary 30-minute personal or church coaching consult. Just contact my office at I'd love to help you.

Please let me know what issues you would like to hear about in the next newsletter. I'll do my best to address your concerns! I look forward to speaking with you all next month.

Many prayers and blessings to you all,

Leadership Tips and Relationship Tips are monthly e-zines written and published by Suzanne Martinez, founder of SFM Consulting & Associates, LLC. Our purpose is to help leaders develop healthy leadership cultures and healthy relationships - cultures that promote growth and maximize personal and organizational performance.

You may copy, forward or distribute this e-zine if this copyright notice and contact information for Suzanne Martinez is included.


Suzanne Martinez
SFM Consulting & Associates, LLC
P.O. Box 9172
Reston, VA 20195-9172

Copyright ©SFM Consulting & Associates, LLC, 2006-2008.

Would you forward this e-zine to others who would benefit from it? For a complimentary subscription, they can sign up at Please help us get the word out by forwarding this issue to others. Thank you!


Leadership & Relationship Tips
February 2008
Vol. I, Issue 15

Leadership & Relationship Tips is published once monthly. You're on our recipients' listing because you indicated an interest in this ministry & e-zine.

To manage your subscription, see the link at the end of this email.

Privacy Policy: We promise never to rent, sell or disclose your email address.

Please add my email address - to your whitelist of address book in your email program, so you won't miss future issues!

Upcoming Garden Club Teleseminars

Interested in joining the Inspirational Women's Garden Club?

It's a monthly get-together via telephone of women to network, build relationships with one another, and to discuss the Relationship Tips monthly topic.

Our next Inspirational Women's Garden Club event, complimentary to you if you're a new participant, is:

Wed, February 27, 7 pm EST

Our topic will be Servant Leadership Lessons Jesus Modeled for Our Leadership and Our Lives

In honor of Valentine's Day this month, I'm offering a complimentary Garden Club for women who'd like to try it out!

Just email me at Suzanne's office for more information and for the information needed to participate!

If you'd like more information about the Garden Club or to enroll, please go to Inspirational Women's Garden Club. You may hear a sample audio class at FREE Gift and FREE Handout. Hope you'll join us on Feb 27 at 7 pm EST!

Becoming a Woman of Godly Character

Our words reflect our hearts and character. In the CD, "Becoming a Woman of Godly Character," Suzanne provides answers to common questions women ask and encourages you in your walk with Christ.

She'll also teach you qualities of a godly woman and the process whereby God changes you throughout your life to make you more like Christ.

Click here to order your copy...

Reversing the Curse: Rediscovering Joy and Fulfillment in Relationships

Reversing the Curse: Rediscovering Joy and Fulfillment in Relationships

In this four-week study guide, Suzanne leads you to simple, but powerful, tools to reverse the effects of the curse and transform your relationships in amazing ways.

As you learn and incorporate these three simple "power tools" into your relationships, you'll find you rediscover joy and fulfillment in your relationships in a new and fresh way.

Click here to order your copy!

Reversing the Curse: Rediscovering Joy and Fulfillment in Relationships

Would you Like to Purchase Recent Garden Club Messages?

Developing Patience through Your Difficulties (April 2007)

Celebrating the Goodness of God in your Life (May 2007)

Dealing with Stress and Anxiety (June 2007)

Finding Rest for Your Soul (July 2007)

Conquering Bitterness through the Power of Forgiveness (August 2007)

Resolving Conflict and Healing Patterns from the Past (September 2007)

Pink & Blue: Secrets to Translating Male/Female Communication to Achieve Meaningful Love and Work

Depending on God to Live Victoriously Despite our Circumstances (November 2007)

Persevering Prayer that Leads to Hope and a Victorious Life (December 2007)

Mastering and Sustaining Personal Change (January 2008)

If you'd like to purchase the package of Garden Club CDs for yourself or as a gift for a friend, you may do so by clicking on the following link - Garden Club Album. I hope you'll be inspired by these!

Inspiring Devotionals

Has your relationship with Christ lost its fervor? Have you gotten caught up in the stresses of life? Is your time with the Lord placed on the back burner?

These two devotionals will help renew your focus on Christ, gain strength for the trials you face, and enable you to give praise to God amidst whatever difficulties you encounter.

For a sample of Joy and Strength, see the final paragraphs of "Finding the Secrets to Contentment in Every Season of Life" at the left.



Shop here to obtain your copy.

Men need respect!

In so many ways, society has focused on your need for love, while ignoring your husband's tremendous need for respect. Most women don't understand how men view certain things they say and do as disrespectful.

Dr. Emerson Eggerich's groundbreaking book, Love and Respect, helps you crack that code, enabling you to communicate with your husband in ways he will hear and understand. These make great gifts, too. Order yours today at

Love and Respect

About Suzanne

Suzanne France Martinez
Founder & Principal

During the last 20 years as Suzanne served in the marketplace and in ministry, she learned to excel amidst the pressing demands and challenges of leadership in each setting.

Suzanne's passion is to help leaders develop healthy leadership and healthy relationships - cultures that promote growth and maximize personal and organizational performance.

Suzanne desires to help leaders renew and refresh their vision, attain new levels of leadership excellence, and build healthy and strong leadership organizations.

Copyright © 2006-2008 SFM Consulting & Associates, LLC.