One word leaders need to understand for the success of the church is develop.
The apostles continued to emphasize the need for the church to develop. Prayers expressed requests to help the church develop.
Developing faith and relationship with God is a vital responsibility of leadership. We must do the following:
Lead others to a greater love and understanding of truth.
Assist Christians in an understanding and involvement of their abilities in His service.
Encourage the expression of God’s grace through sharing the love of Christ at the cross.
Provide an example in all the above.
Leadership is about development. Let us get started.
What is our purpose? We cannot lead effectively without it.
God had a purpose in sending Jesus.
Jesus had a purpose in going to the cross.
The apostles had a purpose in their preaching.
What is our purpose, yours and mine, in our day to day existence?
Spiritual leadership has but one purpose: lead others to heaven. The reason we strive to live a godly example is to fulfill this purpose.
For this reason we develop relationships with others. Nothing is more important. Nothing is more rewarding. Fulfilling our purpose makes the difference.
What do we see when we look at our families, friends, coworkers, people we meet in the community, or our brothers and sisters sitting on the pew next to us each week?
Consider the golden opportunities everywhere we look.
God told Abraham to lift up his eyes and look in every direction. Jesus told the apostles to lift up their eyes and look at the fields white for harvest.
It is time for us to lift up our eyes and look. The door is open. What will we see when we look through it? What will we do?
One critical challenge for leaders exists in the arena of delegating.
Robert Half said, “Delegating work works, provided the one delegating works, too.” The effectiveness of delegating occurs when we lead by example.
Jesus demonstrated this thought with the apostles.
The apostles followed by setting their own example.
Christians are instructed to do the same.
No one is above any task.
No one is too good for the lowest of jobs.
No one is so powerful they are beyond the need for help.
Spiritual leaders must delegate needed work. Delegating this work is never easy, but when we set the right example, enlisting others to help falls into place.
Spiritual leadership should be based on a thought expressed by Harvey S. Firestone, “It is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed.”
We must equip and train others to lead. Who will replace you and me? Are we preparing them for the work?
From a worldly perspective, leadership is inward focused. One must be self-centered in order to make one’s own way. Robert Kennedy said, “People say I am ruthless. I am not ruthless. And if I find the man who is calling me ruthless, I shall destroy him.”
Jesus developed the apostles quite diffferently. The success of their work continues today and will throughout eternity.
The success of our leadership, and the future of the church, rests on developing others.
Concluding this series today, we consider one final area of great leadership demonstrated by our Lord: His confidence in twelve men to turn the world upside down.
Jesus taught, encouraged, admonished, and equipped these men in preparation for the work He commissioned them to fulfill.
Looking at these four words and thinking about how Jesus individualized each of them, the lessons are powerful for great leadership today.
Teach: People do the work they are taught to do. One of the areas where teaching / preaching falls short is application. We are good at giving information and sharing imperatives, but “how” do we do it? When this information is taught, we all learn how to fulfill the task.
Encourage: The power behind encouragement motivates people to work harder than before. When criticism is tempered with encouragement, people change.
Admonish: Warning, advising, or even reprimanding is needed to prevent harm from occurring in the lives of others. The attitude behind admonition determines the reception.
Equip: Providing the necessary tools to fulfill the given task and responsibility are vital to the success of followers, especially as they are prepared to lead.
A study in the life of Jesus reveals numerous marks of greatness as they relate to His leadership. As we considered yesterday, Jesus demonstrated compassion regarding the needs of others.
Another area of greatness that characterized the leadership of Jesus was His ability to address matters of greater importance.
The disciples constantly questioned Jesus about matters of the kingdom, especially from the physical realm.
In His response Jesus answered their immediate inquisition, but He directed their attention to deeper matters of a spiritual nature.
One example involved the concern of the disciples over the destruction of the temple, the sign of His coming, and the end of the age.
While Jesus addressed their concerns with information related to the signs prior to this event, He took them further into the events surrounding the event surrounding the judgment day.
He wanted them to know that something greater than the destruction of the temple was coming and the reason for teaching them this truth was to prepare themselves and prepare others for that day.
Our leadership is the same, preparing others for that day.
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“Inside Chipotle,” a documentary in 2013, highlighted a very important area regarding leadership. Managers in the company are promoted on the bases of how they develop leaders among their employees.
The concept of leaders developing leaders is a highly known principle in most all leadership models. John Maxwell states, “To grow, lead followers. To multiply, lead leaders.” This is why the need for mentors is an important part of this week’s posts.
How amazing would it be for spiritual leaders to consider the benefit to them when involved in developing other leaders?
Instead of being consumed with the fear of being out-performed, shown-up, or otherwise replaced, imagine the development of a company where leaders were constantly grooming others to lead.
Imagine the growth that would occur within the church.
Biblically, this principle is emphasized in several places. Jesus demonstrated this in developing the apostles for the task of evangelizing the world.
Paul instructs older men to set an example of a godly life and for older women to teach younger women matters of the home.
We influence others everyday. Let us mentor them to lead.
The leadership of Moses is one worth more time in study than we can give in one post. However, the introduction of Moses to God at the burning bush is a wonderful read.
As Moses approaches the burning bush he is told to remove his sandals because he is on holy ground. The idea of an ordinary bush becoming extraordinary because of God’s divine activity is incredible. His presence made this ground upon which Moses stood sacred.
God continues to do the same throughout the Bible, even today. His presence takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary with divine activity.
Twelve men: fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot, and others who were ordinary, “common” people, yet with God working through them, all of them became extraordinary.
Today, we need to also recognize the extraordinary nature of God working through the events and people in our lives to take something ordinary and make it extraordinary. When these “burning bushes” exist, we need to stop and realize the sacred ground upon which we are standing. Pay attention to the activity of God that is shaping our leadership.