Jesus is the only perfect leader the world will ever know. Read the book of John (3 chapters a day will get you through it in one week).
The book of John has a wealth of Jesus’ stories and teachings, many not found in Matthew, Mark or Luke. The book of John may be the simplest of the four Gospels and the book of John is full of insights into leadership principles and their applications. Boiled down to one divine message John’s message might be that: “God grafts leaders into Jesus so they might draw strength from Christ Himself.” John 15 even talks about Jesus as the vine and us as the branches. How often do Christian leaders work within their own strength, wisdom and understanding when they have the greatest source of strength, wisdom and understanding willing to empower their leadership?
Do you get moody and erratic in your leadership when situations in your personal life change? (202-3)
Effective leaders assume responsibility for their team’s wellbeing even when their personal life is putting them under enormous pressure. Read Mark 14:32-42.
Jesus is in Jerusalem just prior to His crucifixion. Jesus has eaten His last meal with His disciples and they have gone outside the city walls to spend the night outdoors in a garden known as Gethsemane. Jesus was aware it was His time to become the sacrificial Lamb of God and He was preparing Himself for His coming death at the hands of the religious leaders and the Roman soldiers. Jesus took a few of His closest friends a short distance from the other disciples and asked them to watch and pray with Him. Verse 33 says, “He began to be deeply distressed and troubled.” Luke 22:44 tells us that His perspiration became drops of blood. His personal situation made Him vulnerable to fear and discouragement. He was counting on His friends for support.
Every leader must be able to manage stress. Read Mark 4:35-41.
During Jesus’ public ministry He traveled from city to city and often crossed the Sea of Galilee to preach in the major seaports. During these crossings, which ranged from an hour to several hours, He often caught a nap replenishing His energy levels. During one of these crossings, while Jesus was asleep, a sudden storm hit and His teammates hit the panic button. They woke Jesus and their words indicated they were stressed out from fear. Jesus not only dealt with the source of the disciples’ stress by calming the storm, but He also urged the disciples to place their faith in God. Ultimately, for every leader, the best way to manage stress is to relinquish their problems to God.
The effective leader sets priorities and lives by those priorities. Read Mark 1:32-38.
Jesus was having tremendous ministry in the city of Capernaum and news about Him spread quickly throughout the whole region of Galilee. Jesus’ schedule was full from first light to late into the evening, yet Mark tells us that Jesus got up early in the morning and went to a solitary place to pray. Jesus set priorities which included stepping back from His busy schedule to seek the day’s direction from God. Jesus used the solitude of His prayer time to regain perspective and keep His focus on the big picture of His mission on earth.
Wise leaders involve their team in solving difficult problems. Read Matthew 15:29-39.
As the crowds following Jesus grew He moved further into the remote regions of Judea using the open area to accommodate His ever expanding audience. At one point large crowds had been following Jesus for three days and were totally out of food. Jesus disciples urged Jesus to send the people away to purchase food but Jesus, afraid some may actually faint on their way to find food, told His disciples to feed them before they left. This presented a major problem because the crowd numbered 4,000 not including the women and children and the lack of food was the problem.
Instead of simply calling bread down from heaven, Jesus involved His disciples in solving the problem. He had the disciples determine the available resources, and then asked the disciples to become the primary means of distribution of those resources; He asked them to be stewards of whatever may be leftover. Jesus did the miracle of expanding the resources but He gave the disciples confidence by giving them a role in the process.
John Maxwell discusses the fastest way to gain leadership credibility in his notes in the Maxwell Leadership Bible:
- Jesus deepened His credibility by solving the problem of a hungry crowd:
- He identified the problem and informed His team (v. 32).
- He instructed them to brainstorm the solution (vv. 33, 34).
- He invited them into the problem-solving process (vv. 35, 36).
- He included them in the solution (vv. 34-37).
Even though leaders won’t be able to supply the miracle Jesus supplied in solving this problem, the wise leader can learn from the team involvement processes Jesus used.
Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.”