I believe Jesus was the best leader that has ever lived. Seriously, look at what HE accomplished with just three years of a public ministry…it’s STILL impacting people all over the world. In today’s post…I wanted to cover four things (and there ARE way more than four) that I believe Jesus did that made Him an effective leader.
#1 – Jesus Spent Time With His Inner Circle
The idea that the leader cannot be close with the people he works with simply isn’t Christ like. Jesus did not isolate Himself from “his staff,” but rather He did life and ministry with them. The leader who is afraid to be known by the people he has been called to serve with is in a dangerous place as he either thinks himself better than them or is quite possibly trying to hide something from them. Jesus didn’t lead through fear…He led through relationships and these only become stronger as we spend time with one another. In fact, He actually called them His friends (see John 15:15.) If Jesus can be friends with His “staff”, then why can’t we do the same?
#2 – Jesus Was More About Who His Followers Were Becoming Than What They Were Doing
If a leader cares more about the work his staff produces rather than the fruit that the Lord is producing in them, then he will often put his team in a dangerous place because he will attempt to DRIVE them through his agenda rather than attempt to lead them through the Lord’s agenda. He knew if they developed fully devoted hearts for Him that the quality of their work would show it!
#3 – Jesus Was Patient With Those Closest To Him
As we read the Gospels we never see Jesus going on a rant against His disciples. Sure, there are places where He offers correction and/or rebuke…but this is the exception, NOT the rule…and He does not go on and on for chapter after chapter. He addresses the issue and then moves on. He approaches His “staff” with a patient attitude and does not assume that just because someone makes a mistake that they are either disloyal to Him or simply an idiot who is incapable of doing anything signifiant. A leader that is always losing his/her temper with others because “they don’t get it” usually does not realize that the reason many people don’t “get it” isn’t because they are lacking intelligence but rather because they haven’t been led well.
(And…btw…when Peter “blew it” by denying Christ…Jesus did not write him off or “fire him,” he went from Jerusalem to Galilee to find him and restore him to the ministry! See John 21! Great leaders don’t look to fire people first…they look to walk them through the mistake and restore them!)
#4 – Jesus Was Not Paranoid.
One of the craziest things that takes place in Christian leadership circles is the incredibly insane idea that a leader always needs to be paranoid about which staff are and are not with him…and who might ultimately betray him. Jesus KNEW He was going to be betrayed by Judas…and yet that did not distract Him from what God had called Him to do. (In fact, I would argue that Judas’ betrayal ultimately led to Jesus moving into a greater place!!!)
If you are in leadership long enough someone WILL betray you…it will hurt; however, that does not give us an excuse to run around and constantly create an atmosphere of fear and doubt on our staff and call everything that we don’t like or perceive as an attack against an idea we might have as “disloyal.”
The better question for a leader to ask is NOT, “are these people for me,” but rather, “am I for these people?” Because…if a staff knows that the leader loves them, that he wants the best for them and is willing to fight to lead them, love them and be patient with them, then betrayal is far less of a threat than the leader who is always freaking out about who might and might not be fully sold out to the vision.