Jesus Christ is a movement leader who has influenced the course of world history for over 2,000 years. Jesus’ name conjures up a multitude of images such as revolutionary, teacher, preacher, servant, master, healer, saviour and so on. Regardless of what role(s) we choose to attribute to Christ, He was an influential leader who led with great and powerful LOVE.
Jesus was countercultural and unconventional in countless ways. He selected 12 ordinary men from all walks of life to support His ministry. Among them were fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot and a thief who ends up betraying Him for 30 pieces of silver. Not only was the lineup questionable but it was uncommon for a rabbi (teacher) to appoint followers. The natural order was for a student to approach the rabbi and ask to be taught.
Leadership is simply the process of influencing others. Jesus’ out-of-the-box approaches to life, its issues and our afflictions was enough to earn Him a strong following. Truly, He is the epitome of the noblest leadership which has ever graced this planet. Christ’s unfailing love for us is the reason He chose to live in this world broken by sin.
Never has there been a greater love story than the one of Jesus coming to save us by suffering and dying on a cross. He knows exactly what it’s like to be human yet possesses unlimited divinity. Jesus chose to share Himself with us should we wish to return to God. All we need to do is ask to receive Jesus’ all-powerful, indwelling presence by which we can abide.
Jesus wasn’t concerned with title, social rank, profession or any other worldly measures by which we use to quantify success. He clearly demonstrated and defined leadership as a matter of the heart and character. The extraordinary thing is, Christ flipped the script and led from a servant’s perspective. Such a leader doesn’t attach their worth to performance and approval. It is this from this humble position that Jesus empowered the powerless.
This begs to ask the question, serve or be served?
God made it bright and clear as a sunny day, whoever wants to lead will need to serve. Without a doubt, there is a certain heaviness which comes from following Jesus’ lead. The primary trouble with the majority of leadership styles is that they are ego-driven. Ultimately, this stems from false pride and fear which are the direct opposites of love. The beauty of Jesus’ leading is that it can be applied to all people irrespective of where they happen to be because He meets everyone exactly where they are. Christ knew how to apply God’s Word to every human heart by challenging each individual in a unique way according to their situation.
An example of this is can be found in John 8:7. Jesus was approached by Scribes and Pharisees who brought him a woman that had committed adultery. They said that Moses in the law commanded that she be stoned and decided to ask Him for another opinion. In an effort to tempt Jesus so that they may condemn Him, He replied with point-blank simplicity which disputed anything else they had to say. The woman was released, Jesus asked her not to sin again and everyone went their merry own way.
There’s no denying that it’s worth exploring Jesus’ tried, tested and true methods for leadership. I’ve compiled a concise list of the characteristics and traits which I have found to be absolutely enduring. I strongly encourage you to delve further because He’s just so amazingly, awesome.
Prayer: Jesus had a work-life balance because He managed between being alone and in ministry with people. Time to pray and fellowship with the Father was extremely important. Even as a divine being, Christ was not exempt from the understanding that the Heavenly Father is our only source and supply.
Service And Compassion: Jesus was not above helping anyone who needed assistance because it’s never about Him. There were people afflicted with conditions such as leprosy who were rejected by society. But Jesus was able to share His compassion (means to “suffer with”) by healing them. We may not have access granted to driving out demons or restoring sight but we can still help one another. A wonderful example of this took place at the Last Supper when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples. There was nothing supernatural about cleaning the feet of guys who walked around on dusty and dirty streets with sandals and no socks.
Even Judas, the dude who betrays Him, got the royal treatment.
Truth: Christ did not actively seek out confrontation but He wasn’t afraid to speak the truth. He got upset about the right things because it was His duty to defend God’s honour. No one messes with the Father and gets away with it. In the Gospel, Jesus overturned the tables of the money-changers who were using the temple as a place of business.
Suffering: The majority of us wouldn’t volunteer to endure pain, hardship and stress. If anything, we’d rather avoid it altogether which is why we are a society which numbs itself out. On the other hand, Jesus understood suffering to be a part of God’s plan. Christ knows something we don’t because He was beaten to a pulp and remained on a cross to die. Only to come back, better than ever.
Example: Jesus took the lead with a courageous heart. He wasn’t concerned with staying at status quo level because He was lovingly reconstructing our realities with God’s purpose for our lives. Through His character, we can distinguish between the human and divine within our being. Jesus liberated us from being trapped by the darkness which overshadows all of humanity such as slavery to emotions, status, money, public opinion, etc.
Values And Inspiration: Jesus established His priorities and had very clear vision. As a child, He would teach at the temple while crowds gathered around to hear Him speak. Christ introduced them to rock-solid principles and ways of living which would elevate them to Godly status. Jesus created a light for people to follow.
Through His values, He inspired (means “in spirit”) a vision for us to establish God’s kingdom on earth and Heaven. A place where there is no more disease, hunger, poverty, negativity and so on. We can only do so much here but in the next phase, once we’re out of the physical realm, anything is possible. I’m quite convinced that God gave us the ability to dream so that we can sneak a peek into an existence where a body is no longer required but you are.
Supportive Circle: Jesus also needed close confidantes to whom He could lean on. He had 12 disciples but was more closely related to just a few. Even Judas played an important role in Jesus’ ministry because He was the one who led Him to the cross.
Invest In Your People: Jesus was not a one-man-show because He understood the meaning of teamwork. He had a company of apostles (trained replicas) who were then sent out to teach all over the world. Needless to say, they succeeded in their endeavours.
Connected Communications: Jesus provided His disciples with clear instructions. If Christ was in any way vague about His leading then they wouldn’t have laid a solid foundation for an entity that would do so much good in the world. Some examples include feeding millions, sheltering orphans, promoting education plus more.