Leaders can lead effectively when empowered by their organization. Read Matthew 28:18-20.
Jesus was preparing to return to the Father as He turned over the daily activity of His mission to His disciples. He had invested nearly three years in their training and now was empowering them to carry on His work. As Jesus empowered His disciples He provided leaders with some helpful principles of empowerment:
A leader’s lasting value is ultimately measured by the legacy they leave. Read Matthew 28:16-20.
Jesus had completed His earthly mission. He had fulfilled every prophecy of Scripture concerning His birth, life, death, and resurrection and was preparing to return to the Father. As He gave His final instructions to His team He told them to lead as He had, with the future in mind, making sure they trained leaders that would carry on the mission after they were gone. He asked them to take an approach to leadership that would leave a legacy.
Do you fully understand that your legacy depends on the information that guides your values? (197-3)
God-honoring values serve as a decision-making framework for use of a leader’s power and influence. Read Matthew 27:11-26.
Pontius Pilate served Rome as the Governor of Judea when Jesus was put on trial by the Jewish religious leaders. Roman law did not allow occupied states to carry out executions without approval of the Roman authorities, therefore, the Jewish leaders needed Pilates approval to have Jesus put to death. Pilate acknowledged Jesus’ innocence (Luke 23:4), yet still had Him crucified. Pilate’s values determined how he used his power and influence. Pilate possessed the power to do what was right but was more concerned about his political career and pleasing the Jewish leaders under his jurisdiction than doing what was morally right.
Values are uncompromisable core truths that drive a leader’s behavior. Only when leaders value truth will they speak truth. Only when leaders value honesty will they strive to be honest. Values are the “why” behind leaders’ actions. Leaders must carefully choose their source of values because values place boundaries around behavior and they direct a leader’s decisions. Only when leaders have sought and developed God-honoring values will they use their power in a way that honors God and receives assures the benefit of God’s promises.
Like Pilate in today’s verses, leaders will choose every day how they use their power and influence. Pilate looked to the world for his moral values and became confused by self-interest, social conditions and volatile situations. Pilate had values that centered on self. Pilates’ values directed him to do what was best for his career and for his own convenience. Pilates’ values ultimately have this once powerful man with a legacy throughout history of a weakling. Developing God-honoring values is critical if a leader is to maintain control and direct their influence in productive ways.
Have you established your core truths and resulting values from the Word of God or from the rules generated by society? Do you fully understand that your legacy, and perhaps the legacy of your children (see Exodus 34:7), depends on the source of information that guides your values? The wise leader understands that rejecting the moral high ground will rarely produce a good outcome over the long haul.
Have you had a character failure that is shaping your future and limiting your accomplishments? (197-2)
When Jesus was arrested and standing trial before the Jewish religious leaders, Peter, one of His closest friends and a trusted disciple, was standing with others outside the court chambers to listen to the proceedings. Peter had promised Jesus he would stand by Him no matter the circumstance but now, when the powerful religious leaders were seeking to destroy Jesus and anyone that associated with Him, his character was facing a serious challenge. When the others outside the court chamber bluntly asked Peter if he was one of Jesus’ disciples, Peter denied it and even denied ever knowing Jesus. Peter’s character failed in just about every way possible. In His great love for Peter, God used even Peter’s horrific denial of Christ to help him develop the strong character he would need to lead the early church.
Do you find it difficult to restrain yourself from using your authority in stressful situations? (197-1)
Effective leaders practice restraint when using their power and influence. Read Matthew 26:57-68.
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had finally had enough of His public statements pointing out their outright disobedience to the spirit of God’s laws for governing the people. Jesus was arrested and brought before the religious Supreme Court called the Sanhedrin. Even though Jesus had the power to call down legions of angels as His character witnesses or for His protection He endured the false accusations and attacks because He knew His Father was in control of the situation (1 Peter 2:23). Jesus restrained the use of His power, trusting God to bring justice as it fit into His perfect plan.