Making good decisions has special requirements for a Christian leader. Read Proverbs 1:1-7.
For the Christian leader making good decisions includes elements beyond accurately analyzing and processing information and temporary success or failure. To bear the name Christian along with the title leader they must also consider fairness, honesty, and morality as part of each decision. The book of Proverbs isn’t a decision-making textbook, but it was inspired by God and written by King Solomon of Israel, a leader who over the centuries has become known as the wisest man to have ever lived.
Every leader will have some teammates that fail regardless of the leader’s mentoring or interpersonal skills. Read Luke 22:1-6.
The Bible tells us that at times there were hundreds of people that followed Jesus all over Judea and called themselves His disciples. From His many dedicated followers Jesus chose an inner circle of 12 that He mentored and gave significant amount of personal time. Yet, even though Jesus is the one perfect leader to walk the face of the earth, one from His inner circle betrayed Him. If in leadership very long, every leader will have a similar experience.
Leaders are in a unique position to help their team develop their own leadership skills and reach their full potential. Read Luke 10:1-24.
Jesus was in the final year of His earthly ministry and according to Luke 9:51, “As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” In order to maximize the number of people He would talk to about the kingdom of heaven as He traveled to Jerusalem He “…appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He was about to go.” These 72 were to “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘the kingdom of God is near’” (10:9). Jesus used their assignment to develop the leadership skills of His teammates.
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.
In the early stages of Jesus’ public ministry He selected individuals for a team that He would mentor and entrust the ministry to when He finished His assignment from God and returned to heaven. Since Jesus knew His time on earth would be limited, prevailing wisdom would say that He should choose religious leaders who had previous training and background and a proven track record or maybe business people well respected in the religious community who had the ability to successfully raise funds and get wheels under Jesus’ vision.