Jesus: The Greatest Leader of All
This is the season most of the Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus. Though He was an ordinary baby, He was born to save humanity from sin that separated us from God. For the last two months, we have been focusing on leadership development. We first looked at what it means to be a catalyst for change from John Maxwell and Rob Hoskins’ book Change Your World. “The catalysts of change in our world are often common people fueled by discontent, frustration or anger, who channeled their emotions into good.” We then looked at Lead Today, a youth ministry resource that teaches them the vital leadership principles that would allow them to be a leader NOW. One of the key principles taught by John Maxwell is that “Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.” Jesus was an influencer and a catalyst for change, let’s consider these two quotes as we talk about what we can learn from Jesus’ leadership.
He led with Purpose: When Jesus was born, He had a purpose to fulfill a specific mission while on earth (Luke 2:10–11). Like each one of us, before we were born God created us for a purpose (Ephesians 2:10). We can’t compare the work we do with what Jesus did; however as catalysts for change we must resolve to do whatever God has called us to. Jesus gave up His human will for God’s higher purpose (Mark 14:36). Jesus shows us exactly how this is done, He lived in obedience to His calling.
What does this mean for us as leaders? We must recognize that we are created with a purpose, so seek and pursue what God has called you to do. Know that God is inviting you to partner with Him to bring hope and life in this world.
He was led by the Spirit of God: Jesus was Spirit led and did what His Father in heaven asked of Him. He didn’t simply do what He wanted; Jesus had a heavenly perspective that guided His every step (John 5:19). He prioritized His relationship with God above everything else. He spent time alone in His presence to seek and be refreshed. He didn’t let the worries, troubles or wants of this world change or interfere with His mission. This helped Him know what, when and how to do what needed to be done.
What does this mean for us as leaders? We can only accomplish our task if we remain rooted in Christ Jesus and depend on the Holy Spirit. So, cultivate your relationship with Him every day and learn to be Spirit led.
He was a servant leader: Jesus was a King born in a manger. He lived a humble life with nothing about His appearance or possessions to be desired and suffered for the sake of those He came to save (Isaiah 53). However, Jesus knew whose He was and this gave Him the confidence to do what was needed. As the son of God, He served in humility, He washed the feet of His disciples, He ate with sinners or those considered outcasts, He was a carpenter and in all this He was obedient to death, even death on the cross.
What does this mean for us as leaders today? Your past, present, color of skin, tribe position, background does not define you. You belong to God so yield to the spirit of humility and serve in confidence.
He believed in people’s ability: He led, developed and built meaningful relationships with others, knowing that good would come from anyone. Think of His disciples, some were teenagers yet He invested in them, His immediate family, the people He healed and those He engaged with. He focused on the good in people and this caused people’s hearts and minds to be influenced for the better, like Peter who betrayed Him or Zacchaeus the tax collector. For those closest to Him, He taught them about His Father’s Kingdom (Matthew 11:11–12), He showed them how to do the work (Luke 10:1–24) and prayed for them (John 17:6–19).
What does this mean for us as leaders today? Find others you can serve with and believe in them. Invest in them by empowering and equipping them to do their work excellently. Release them to do the same so we can make many disciples as commanded by Jesus.
As we conclude, remember that Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12) and He invites us to be this light (Matthew 5:14–16) in our areas of influence. As the light of the world, Jesus exposed the darkness in this world, He didn’t remain silent. As a leader He spoke the truth so that many would realize and change their ways. He is inviting you to be the light like He is the light so find your voice and be that catalyst for change among the children, youth and adults you serve. As we celebrate Jesus Christ this season, let this be more than just a celebration of the season. Our prayer is that it’s a reminder and celebration of what His birth means for our lives and a reason for us to be encouraged to go tell the world about His love and power.
Merry Christmas from 4/14 Africa family to you!