At DeAltar our theme for October is A Better Leader. Hence tonight we will be considering; JESUS: The Model Leader
At a book review yesterday, I learnt about The Original plan. This brought to awareness the fact that God has a template for basically everything. In essence, there is an already laid foundation for everything in the bible; marriage, parenting, teaching and even down to leadership.
Just in case you are wondering why we are looking at the life of Jesus, what better leader to learn from than Jesus? The greatest leader who was and still is as a matter of fact. We therefore can learn how to be a good and effective leader by looking at how Jesus did it. Yes or yes?
With this in mind, we would be looking at the characteristics of a leader as modelled by Jesus.
Characteristics of a good leader
Many will agree that Jesus was blunt, as blunt as you could get. He was what you would say brutally honest.
I searched the scriptures and a lot of instances whenever he was asked something he would say “I tell you the truth… ” This isn’t hard to conceive seeing as how Jesus himself is the truth!
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ
Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
Mat 21:21 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.
A host of other scriptures have the same beginning – “I tell you the truth!” Jesus was honest! A good leader should value the truth, speak the truth at all times..
Jesus placed a high value on every single on us. He did it regardless of who he/she was. We see what is happening around us now, especially in Nigeria – our leaders value those they can only get something back in return, money, fame or influence. Jesus values every single one of us, so you as a leader should value all around you.
Hebrews 12:2 (NIV) Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus could see something in us, something worth dying for. Something worth going through pains for. How many of us here value people so much to the point of making great sacrifices for them? Well, this is a good time to start, our model leader placed a high value on every life.
This is key, if you will help anyone, you have to be able to stand in their shoes and feel their pain. Oh, my Lord was full of compassion and that was why he was able to heal the sick, free the oppressed and feed the poor.
I hate to say it but this is one area a good number of people fall short, it’s also the reason they aren’t as effective as they should be. You are leading a group of people and somehow you can’t seem to feel their pain, understand their struggles and reach out.
Matthew 14:14 (NIV) When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
4. A leader should have something to offer
I attended a relationship seminar sometimes last year and the minister was addressing the males. He said “Yes, you are the head of the family, Yes, you are the leader; but if she follows you, what do you have to offer her? Why should she even follow you?” Everywhere became quiet…
Now, let me ask, why are you following Jesus?
Mathew 11:28-30 (NIV)
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Leader Jesus is basically saying, come! Your load is plenty, mine isn’t. Following me won’t stress you either, I simply want to help you offload, reduce the load for you! Who would hear this and won’t be attracted naa, tell me. Someone tells me this, omo, carry all my load, shebi it’s to follow you…I will follow you tire!
Give something in return!
Probably because I have a little experience with different kind of people, but leaders aren’t always forgiving. Jesus is saying that isn’t the way. Holding on to this grudge isn’t the way. Look at the life of Jesus, a life well lived too. He was and still is forgiveness personified.
Mathew 18:21-22 (NIV)
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Be a forgiving leader!!
6. Respect Authority.
Oh, we had a builders conference last year and one of the speakers said: “Jesus is the following leader…” That stuck with me.
A couple of leaders have this ego thing, this I am the “oga at the top” thing going. Jesus respected all constituted authorities. He had power, so we can agree that he could have made away with a lot of things yet he didn’t. He also acknowledged the one who sent him too-God. He wasn’t glory-seeking.
Matthew 3:13-15 NIV:
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
Another person may have said: “That’s true since I technically have more power than you”. Oh, but Jesus said; “let it be so, for that is proper”.
He also made it known severally to the people that he was sent by God and that there was a higher power at work! As a leader, you should be respectful to authorities!
Our Christ was faithful. He knew what he believed in and he stood by it till the very end, he was unwavering even in the face of temptation.
We know how he was tempted by the devil – for money, power, whatever. He was promised the world too (I find this ridiculous though… lol, like Satan was somehow in charge of the world). But our God did not fall.
Mathew 4:1-11 (NIV)
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
We can relate this to our world now: People come and tell us what they stand for, few minutes down the line and someone offers them one mouth-watering sum of money and they suddenly lose all ability to can.
These days our leaders fall for a lot of trash. Our model leader, the only model that matters never fell for anything.
If you have no vision biko where are you leading these people too? No promise land nothing, ahan! You will be leading them nowhere?
Jesus had a very clear, well thought out vision. He knew where he was going. Even at the little age of 12.
Mark 1:14-17 (NIV)
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
Christ was all about his fathers’ business. He had a goal. He had a plan. That’s why he could stay back at Jerusalem to teach people far older than he was then.
Please, if you have no purpose, destination and direction, you simply have no business leading people!
9. Team building
Jesus was a team builder for real. Single-handedly, He picked all his disciples – strategically too. Some with a common background (the fishermen) so they already understood each other, and others with different backgrounds too. He was also good with relationships. He brought different people together and was able to unite them and form a relationship with all of them.
Now, not trying to take anything away from anyone but then you go to some companies and the CEO only knows the names of the next 5 and maybe his personal assistant. The receptionist has been the same person for the past 4 years and is always there to welcome him daily but somehow he doesn’t know her name, if she has kids, or where she stays. Relationship = 0
Well, going by Jesus standards, that is not good enough! Any good leader must be a good team builder. And after building this team, you should also be able to keep it together!
Personally, I will have issues with anyone who doesn’t have this atmosphere of control..you know, this boldness, confidence. As a leader, be in charge. You can’t always be indecisive, unstable or what not! You are leading people but they don’t listen to you. When there is a problem you can’t restore the calm and peace.
Oh, Jesus was very much in control always.
When leading, people always tend to look to you when there is a problem, chaos or a serious decision to be made. You need to be that leader.
Mark 1:23-25 (NIV)
“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
“Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!”
Remember the storm too? The one where Jesus was sleeping sef. That’s how the people shouted oo, and all Jesus said was. “Peace, be still”
He was in control, always. The people listened to him, situations listened too. Even demons Recognized and feared him.
11. He was always in front
Jesus was a leader in words and in actions.
You know in times of war, the King and Queen (in movies sha, it happens in real life too) would sit back then send people to go and fight. That’s the same way oga’s at the top will push those below them to the front of the problem and be looking at them from behind where they are protected. Not my Jesus, he will not send you to a place he won’t go with you! God’s will still won’t take you to a place where his grace won’t follow.
The same way Matt 28:19 ends by saying “lo, I will be with you”. The same way many scriptures show Jesus saying “my presence will be with you”.
This is simply saying he isn’t just sending you while hiding behind the fence, he is going with you instead! As a leader, Jesus model says to take the lead! You don’t push your followers into the fire while you hide.
Do you agree?
You be in front. Test the waters and tell them it is safe to pass.
Oh, our Lord prayed. He prayed and prayed and fasted and then prayed some more. In whatever leadership position you are holding, never neglect the place of prayers.
Matthew 14:23 (NIV) After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,
Matthew 26:36 (NIV) Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
Luke 5:16 (NIV) But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Prayer strengthens and empowers.
A good leader should seek to empower his followers, help them grow and be better, make their lives better however you can.
Mark 1:40-45 (NIV)
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”
Immediately leprosy left him and he was cleansed.
Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning:
“See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”
Instead, he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
Jesus went about doing good! He healed the sick, fed the poor. A good leader will seek the progress of his followers always!!
Glory to God!!
Thank you Lord!!
That’s what God will have us know for now. Leave your questions and contributions in the comments box below.
Note: All pictures used in this study are for illustration purpose, and were gotten from Google Search.