Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15
Change history with 12 disciples! Jesus trained the disciples in about three years. Easily the greatest feat of leadership in history.
Reading the Gospels while asking the question, “What did Jesus do to develop leaders?” You will find three principles or techniques that Jesus used. These leadership principles are easy to duplicate.
First: Jesus instructed.
From a human perspective, the teaching of Jesus was genius. We know that His words were more than that – they were divine.
Scholars claim that the Parable of the Prodigal is the best short story ever written. Consider the Lord’s Prayer as the most popular prayer in history. Can you imagine sitting on the side of a mountain and listening to Jesus quote the Beatitudes for the first time? The Beatitudes, after 2,000 years, remain the best ethical statement ever taught.
F0rtuntely, that same teaching is still here today for leadership training.
Second: Jesus emphasized character.
Not technique or branding or advertising – character. When Jesus saw that His Facebook followers had dwindled from 10,000 to 12, it didn’t bother him (John 6:66-71). He used this loss of popularity to challenge the apostles’ commitment.
The greatest command of Jesus was to love God and others.
Most of Jesus’ parables challenged hypocrisy. He pointed out the vanity of wealth with the Rich Young Ruler, challenged racial bigotry with the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and taught that the insignificant could succeed in the Parable of the Mustard Seed.
Third: Jesus lived as an example.
Living simply, speaking the truth in love, having faith for provision, unleashing the power of miracles, preaching boldly, casting out demons, quieting storms, and having a willingness to die for your beliefs…
…Jesus spoke and lived it all.
Jesus gave the disciples opportunity to do the same and finally empowered them to accomplish even more through receiving the Spirit in Acts 2.
Let’s review: First, Biblical instruction; second, character; third, an example.
We can lead like this today. Jesus developed leadership in the first century, but He still does this today with you.
I’ve been reading a great book on leadership entitled Developing the Leader’s Heart by Bill Lawrence.
Maybe you feel like a complete failure. I’ve been there—and I have good news for you. When we humbly face our inadequacies and acknowledge that without Him “we can do nothing,” we are exactly where God wants us to be: facing our inadequacy and completely depending on Him.
We are all leaders. All of us will be in situations to develop leadership in others. Don’t feel insecure, as Jesus gave us a simple three-step plan.
Then He empowers us with His Spirit.