Skilled leaders know the importance of spending time with key followers, especially in the early stages of their time together. Read John 1:35-39.
When John the Baptist publicly recognized Jesus as the Lamb of God, two of his disciples heard him and followed Jesus. Jesus saw them following Him and invited them to come with Him and according to verse 39 they “spent that day with Him.” Jesus did more than spend time with these men; He opened Himself allowing them to have a relationship with Him.
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.
Effective leaders get their team to buy into their vision. Read Luke 5:1-11.
As Jesus began His public ministry He started speaking to larger and larger crowds. At one point Jesus was speaking near the Lake of Gennesaret and as the crowd grew in size and pressed in on Him, Jesus got into a fishing boat at the water’s edge and asked Simon (later known as Peter), the owner, to put out a little from shore. Free from the press of the crowd, Jesus sat in the boat and taught the people.
Humility is one of the Bible’s most often mentioned traits of a God-honoring leader. Read Luke 3:15-17.
John the Baptist was a powerful leader and public speaker. Luke 3:3-9 says John had crowds of people coming out of the cities of Judah to listen to him speak. Because of his straight talk, many who listened to John responded to his message of repentance and were baptized. Many people followed John and actually became his disciples. John was so popular that many in the crowds actually thought he may be the promised Messiah. When asked if he were the Messiah, John demonstrated tremendous humility when he said he was not worthy to untie the sandals of the true Messiah. What an awesome combination of traits John possessed as a leader – burning passion and absolute humility.
There are times when every leader will be asked to give up short-term comfort and security to gain a much greater prize. Read Mark 15:15-24.
It is the day of Jesus’ execution. He was innocent of any crime but was being obedient to the revealed Word of God and was willingly sacrificing His life, shedding His blood as the required sacrifice for the atonement of mankind’s sins against God. According to Matthew 26:53, Jesus could have made a simple request to His Father and God would have provided legions of angels to extricate Him from the religious leaders and Roman soldiers who were about to execute Him. Jesus did not take the short-term easy way out but chose an excruciating death for the long-term good of all mankind. He gave up His life to gain the redemption of the whole world and for that great sacrifice Jesus is the name God has placed above all names and is the person that will eventually be confessed by every tongue and to whom every knee will bow.