Jesus, as a leader, continually served those around him with complete humility.How profound is it that Jesus did not exalt or praise himself nor did he seek the approval and praise of others.As I choose to learn about leadership characteristics of Jesus’ life, I see a man who had every right to correct, condemn, expect praise, etc.However, Jesus met and accepted people exactly for who they were and revealed God to each of them.Jesus’ patience and love for each person is so out-of-this-world.”The woman at the well” story shows Jesus (1) intentionally taking himself out of the position of piety, (2) patiently revealing life-giving truth, and (3) persisting in love even though the woman attempts to deflect the conversation away from her personal life of sin.
For me, it’s hard to see a leader as somebody like Jesus.I guess, I’m used to thinking of a leader as more of a powerful manager.So, if I attempt to think of myself as a leader, I feel that it’s my responsibility to instill some sort of conformity of what is right across the board.However, Andy Stanley states that the manager “manages to sameness” while the leader “leads into chaos” (Catalyst OneDay 2009). The disparity is apparent when I examine my actions and my convictions and conclude that they are not in concert. I strongly ascribe to beliefs that diversity is to be cherished and no two situations are the same and cannot be solved with the same approach.Moreover, I am drawn to this believe so much because it requires continual dependence upon the Creator for direction as well as consistent submission that my own ideas are lame and entirely insufficient.However, my actions dispel a counter message – one of conformity, performance and fear.
What is a leader then?How does that play about?What does that mean for me?Today, I see that I need to embrace the following leadership characteristics:
- The leader serves: I must look to serve those whom God calls me to lead
- The leader is a cheerleader: I must celebrate the good (rather than condemning the bad)
- The leader does not change others: I must continually follow and point to Christ
- The leader is authentic: I must seek God’s revelation into my own heart and motives and His strength and wisdom to walk in faith
To conclude, “That is wonderful and inspiring.What happens next – if anything?”Rather than answer that question myself, I seek your response.Enjoy the goodness!
Finally, I reflect on the influence of Jesus Christ:
Nearly two thousand years ago in an obscure village, a child was born of a peasant woman. He works in a carpenter shop until he is thirty, and then for three brief years is an itinerant preacher, proclaiming a message and living a life. He never writes a book. He never holds an office. He never raises an army. He never has a family of his own. He never owns a home. He never goes to college. He never travels two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He gathers a little group of friends about him and teaches them his way of life.
His greatness has never been paralleled. He never wrote a book, yet all the libraries of the country could not hold the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, and yet He has furnished the theme for more songs that all the songwriters combined. He never founded a college, but all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students. Every seventh day the wheels of commerce cease their turning and multitudes wind their way to worshiping assemblies to pay homage and respect to Him. The names of the past proud statesmen of Greece and Rome have come and gone. The names of the past scientists, philosophers, and theologians have come and gone, but the name of this man abounds more and more.