Even a negative example can teach leaders positive lessons. Read Luke 16:1-16.
As Jesus spoke with the crowd described in Luke 15:1-2, He told a perplexing story in chapter 16:1-13 that appeared at first glance to encourage dishonesty. Jesus’ real message is that Christian leaders should mimic the steward’s shrewdness, not his dishonesty. This story of the unrighteous manager teaches leaders lessons about shrewdness in business and a few subtle truths about leadership:
Have you found leadership difficult because you have not established your credibility with your team? (203-1)
The wise leader recognizes the need to establish their credibility. Read Luke 1:1-4.
Luke was a doctor and companion of the apostle Paul on several missionary journeys. He was not one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. To the best of our knowledge he was not an eyewitness of Christ’s day-to-day ministry and he was not a theologian, yet he wrote one of only 66 books that are part of the Bible. Rather than launching in to his account of the Gospel without an introduction, Luke made certain his readers knew why he chose to write his account of Jesus’ life and that his account of Jesus’ life was based on historically verifiable information. Luke understood and acted on the leadership principle of establishing credibility for his message.
Effective leaders are innovators and change makers. Read Mark 2:18-22.
The Jewish people had refined and re-defined the established religious practices of Judaism since God called Abraham and established the Jewish people. As often happens, the refinements in Judaism slipped toward legalism and eliminated some of the freedom God had initially established for His people as they worshiped Him. Jesus came on the scene with full knowledge of God’s original plan and even though He lived in total obedience to God’s sovereign will, His actions sometimes looked and felt like heresy to the religious leaders since the original practices had been changed over the years.
It is a leader’s commitment to a cause that facilitates success. Read Matthew 16:24-26.
The 12 men Jesus picked as His disciples were with Him constantly. He knew the scope of the mission they were part of and as He mentored them He tried to prepare them for what was ahead. Jesus knew the depth of commitment that would be required of these men if they were to have the spiritual and emotional resources to fulfill the mission they had accepted. He knew the assignment they had accepted would not allow room for selfish behavior. Jesus made it clear that unless they committed everything they would lose everything.
Leaders function with integrity when they understand they are only stewards of what God owns. Read Malachi 3:6-17.
God established ways for His work to be completed in Israel by full-time priests and their helpers. These temple servants were to be compensated with food and money from the other tribes of Israel so they could live a somewhat normal family life. The law God gave to Moses made provision for these workers because the other tribes were required to tithe from the fruit of their labor.