Leading Under His Leadership

Whoever said, "Do as I say, not as I do." was the worst leader ever. Words are important but actions must support them otherwise one's credentials, especially as a leader, evaporate into thin air. When we are kids, we mimic the behavior of our parents and adults we deem as leaders or authority figures. We do not grow out of this, so the leadership style we choose to select as our own had better be successful.

Jesus was and is the best multi-tasker, manager and leader ever. If Christians ever desire to be effective for The Business/The Kingdom and fall in line with the training as future priests and kings ruling with Christ, then we must learn from and emulate His leadership and management.

Emulate Jesus CEO
Jesus managed many disciples, twelve in particular, that gave up their occupations immediately to follow Him. But not only did they follow Him, they joined Him in fulfilling His mission, though the full extent of it was veiled to them until the Resurrection.

“Jesus knew that He could not change the world alone. Whoever forms a team to carry out the best ideas wins. Jesus formed a team." (p.90-91, Jesus CEO, Laurie Beth Jones)

However, the team needed an example for this new line of thinking that was being presented and they had the best leader by example to execute God's Business Plan, which was three fold - reveal the Kingdom of God, seek and save the lost and destroy the works of the devil (Luke 19:10; 1 John 3:8).

An interesting tidbit about Jesus was that He managed from the inside out, not outside in. He did not allow outside influences to govern how He might manage His team.

For example, when taking care of the five thousand hungry people, Jesus did not bring in cooks from around the area nor send His disciples to a cooking seminar. He involved them immediately and miraculously provided the surplus needed.

That same kind of intimate, managing care is seen again when He counsels Mary and Martha's fuss over who is doing the right thing - working or waiting. Jesus did not send them to therapy to help settle their differences, He settled it right then and there, in-house.

Then in Luke 10, Jesus manages a larger team as He delivers explicit instruction to seventy-two disciples about witnessing concerning the Kingdom of God. Jesus did not leave it up to how other religious groups did it in the past or were doing projects then.

Again, "Jesus did not hoard or guard the power of His office. He kept teaching and sharing and demonstrating it so team members would learn that they, too, had the power to do what He had done." (p.151, Jesus CEO, Laurie Beth Jones)

Did you know that two of the greatest Leaders in Scripture, apart from Christ, came from the enemy’s camp? These two were called out of darkness and into God's marvelous light literally and in dramatic fashion. One leader was from the Old Testament and the other leader from the New Testament. Both had incredible similarities in their general faith journey but what strikes me most about these two leaders is the perseverance while leading in challenging times. These two men were Moses and Paul.

As a leader, they both had natural challenges. Among some of these natural challenges, Moses had the Red Sea and Paul was involved in 3 ship wrecks.

As a leader, they both experienced physical limitations during their ministry. Moses had a speech issue. Paul had a "thorn" in his flesh. 

As a leader, they were both challenged mentally. Moses had a million people to lead and Paul had to figure out how to start and maintain The Church.

As a leader, they both faced spiritual mountains. Moses attempted to observe and enforce The Law passed down to him from God. Paul tried to head-off Satan at "The Pass" within The Church by offering Godly instruction through letters to the churches.

The main observation is they did not stop being a leader nor did they pause in their leadership capacity while under these challenges. Yes, these men placed their trust in God and their help came from God. However, these men displayed there was still leading to do even under pressure from inside or outside influences. They proved to the Christian that in our distresses, in our life challenges, we should be Leading Regardless.

The Servant-Leader
What incredible servant-leaders Moses and Paul were to God and their people. The greatest servant makes the greatest leader. Do we want to be famous in God's eyes? In order to do that, in order to secure that leadership role, Jesus said - "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." (Mark 9:35). Notice Jesus had three requirements for being a disciple or follower under His leadership –

1. “If anyone wants to be first,”

2. “he must be the very last”

3. “and the servant of all.”

That "If" word means there are going to be some people that do not care to be first, therefore they will not care to serve. The thing is, whether you are a pursuer of firsts in life or not, if you join Team Jesus, His successful style of living is a servant-centered approach.

"whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:26-28)

After understanding the Christian lifestyle is supposed to reflect a servant lifestyle then the Christian must be humble in position and action. The second statement by Christ states the positional humility in our lives – “he must be the very last”. Not among the last – “the VERY last”.

Then the final requirement in Christ’s Mark 9:35 statement is to have your actions mirror a servant’s and not just to a select group of people, but to everyone – “and the servant of all”.

Therefore, the believer's prayers, the prayers of Christian leaders should be fashioned around requesting God for - a better character, confidence, attitude, and lifestyle that would fit being "servant to all". Servant-hood, or putting others before yourself can be as simple as consideration or as serious as a life-sacrifice. In either situation and all points in-between, swallowing this Pill of Selflessness goes against the wiring of many, if not all of us. But the more a person serves another individual in the example of Christ, the more the person serving displays his/her Godly leadership qualities.

Godly Leadership Qualities to Pursue
Speaking of Godly leadership qualities that believers can pursue, here is a starting list -

1. Takes constructive criticism and consequences to heart by trying to be better.

"Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray." - Proverbs 10:17

2. Keep the utmost respect for The Lord - His name, His ways and His Word.

"The fear of the Lord leads to life;
then one rests content, untouched by trouble." - Proverbs 19:23

3. Right-standing with God leads to integrity-filled lives which leads to a blessed life.

"The righteous lead blameless lives;
blessed are their children after them." - Proverbs 20:7

4. Be diligent in your plans and your calling.

"The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty." - Proverbs 21:5

"if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. - Romans 12:8

5. Remember your Godly leaders, consider their lives and imitate their faith.

"Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith." - Hebrews 13:7

6. Show confidence in other leaders and submit to their authority as it applies. You don't have to agree with their ideas, but Hebrews 13:17 states -

"Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you."

7. In addition, pray for your leaders and those in authority over you.

"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." - 1 Timothy 2:1-4

8. Pursue the Fruits of the Spirit. The Christian actively pursuing the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) in their life reminds me of David's heart-cry - "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10). The key is requesting His will and declaring His promises into and over our lives as believers in Christ.

God has given us the best teachings to follow in the Bible, the best example to mimic in Jesus, and the best tool to produce fruit through the Holy Spirit. It is the Christian's asking, seeking, and knocking that has to take a more submissive and useful, servant-leading form. How else can we become a more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled follower of Christ?

Did you know in the next verse of Galatians 5 Paul writes - "Against such things there is no law." (v.23)? Seeing there are no laws against such things - believers should endeavor to pray to be more of a leader in each area so that they might serve everyone better, be a good and faithful Servant to God (Matthew 25:21) and be found Leading Under His Leadership.