Leaders must have the commitment of their team if they hope to succeed. Read John 6:41-65.
Often Jesus had large crowds that followed Him. Many of them hung on His every word. However, when He said, “I am the bread that comes down from heaven,” many in the crowd began to grumble and said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can He now say, ‘I came down from heaven?’” The issues got even deeper when Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” “On hearing it, many of His disciples said, ‘this is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?’” The result according to verse 66, “From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.” Jesus clarified the level of commitment He expected from His followers.
The truly successful leader will train their team to take over without missing a beat when something happen to them. Read Luke 24:46-49.
Jesus had accomplished His assignment on earth and was about to return to heaven where He would reside until His promised return at the end of the age. Even though Jesus had completed His assignment there was a whole world of people in His generation and all the generations to follow who still needed to know that Jesus had made reconciliation with God for the human sin condition. It was to fulfill this ongoing part of His mission that Jesus trained a team that could take over and carry His message to their generation and future generations.
Effective leaders handle conflicts personally, privately and with the spirit of forgiveness. Read Luke 17:3-10.
Jesus, knowing His disciples would soon have major leadership roles, continually taught principles that would make them more effective leaders. When He told them they should forgive a person who had wronged them, even if they wronged them seven times, as long as that person returned and ask for forgiveness, His disciples’ first thought was this may be too much and they would need more faith to accomplish the task. Jesus simply told His team their faith was sufficient and conflict resolution and forgiveness was part of a leader’s everyday job. Jesus was clear that a leader should not expect praise for doing what was an expected part of their leadership role.
Effective leaders have compassion for their team even during the administration of justice for unacceptable attitudes or behavior. Read Luke 13:31-35.
As Jesus approached Jerusalem, some religious leaders warned Him that He would not be safe in Jerusalem and told Him He should not go there. Jesus already knew He would be killed while He was in Jerusalem and He knew that was part of God’s plan to redeem people to Himself. Jesus also knew that Jerusalem would be harshly judged by God for their actions in the past, for what they were about to do, and for their unbelief. The prophecies about Jerusalem were fulfilled in 70 AD when the Roman General Titus leveled Jerusalem. Jesus expressed deep sorrow as He thought about the future suffering of those living in Jerusalem.
Have you identified those on your team that have the potential to become the leader of leaders? (205-5)
There are times when a leader should make a special investment of time and energy in a few leaders with extraordinary potential to prepare them for special assignments. Read Luke 9:28-36.
Jesus had chosen twelve of His followers to closely mentor, but within the twelve He had three that He trained for special leadership positions. On several occasions Jesus pulled three of His team, James, John and Peter, aside for special input. The Bible does not tell us what “extra” leadership trait Jesus saw in them, but His actions indicate that He felt they would eventually be the leaders of the leaders.
In every leader’s sphere of influence there will be those loosely attached to the leader, those affected directly by the leader’s influence, those who answer directly to the leader, and those few the leader grooms for additional responsibility and greater leadership positions. There is always a possibility that selecting a few from your team for special training could cause envy or some other form of discontent on the team, but it has been my experience that in most cases the potential demonstrated by these few leaders is not only obvious to me but to all their teammates. Deserving leaders receiving special training is much different than favoritism in the eyes of their teammates.
John Maxwell in The Maxwell Leadership Bible writes on this topic in “The Law of the Inner Circle: Jesus Prepared Men to Represent Him”:
Jesus, the ultimate trainer and mentor, did things this way to prepare some key players for future leadership. Watch how He did it:
- Selected a group of key men (v. 28)
- Took them to a special place (v. 28)
- Spent time praying with them (vv. 28, 29)
- Shared an unusual experience with them (vv. 32, 33)
- Invested special time speaking with them (vv. 34, 35)
- Gave them a secret history with Him that prepared them for the future (v. 36)
Have you identified those on your team that have the potential to become the leader of leaders? Are you actively mentoring them to achieve their full leadership potential? Even on a team of leaders hand selected by Jesus there were three that Jesus selected for an “inner circle” to “lead the leaders.” Wise leaders pay attention to Jesus’ actions and examples for developing an effective team.
Exodus 18:25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.