A thought about leadership methods…
Posted on March 21, 2013
There are a multitude of leadership books, teachings, and perspectives in today’s world. There’s some great and not so great information available to anyone that will listen. However, a consistent theme in much of the conversation is giving prescribed methods and perspectives of leadership without valuing the process of discovering who you are, how you are wired, and what you are passionate about. I have discovered when we understand God’s ways personally, leadership and influence become the by-product of that revelation.
What’s fascinating to me is the fact that Jesus broke all the molds of expectation of leadership but His style is often overlooked. In the age of clear communication, top-down hierarchy, limited empowerment, and clever marketing, Jesus didn’t fit in any of those boxes. The Pharisees and His own disciples were looking for him to rule and over throw the Roman rule, and He didn’t seem to care a bit! He would say things like, “eat my flesh and drink my blood,” and never bother to explain it even though the crowds left as a result. He said that He only did and said what the Father was doing and saying, and didn’t mind that others didn’t always understand Him or His purposes.
He was intentional in what He developed in others even though most of the time the disciples were clueless in the moment of learning. He gave a group of misfits so much authority that demons were exercised and the sick were healed at their hands. He had men ask to kill in His name (James & John calling down fire), a leader who was a thief (Judas), and immediately empowered a leader that had deserted him in His most vulnerable hour (Peter). Jesus didn’t come to build an systematic organization or a prescribed movement. He came to bring people into reality. To awaken them to the truth of what His Father was really like.
Therefore, His methods and His message where customized, in the moment, for the audience before Him, and often never used a second time. I often reflect on the leadership and style of Jesus juxtaposed to modern Christian methods and wonder how we came to some of our conclusions.
Why are we trying to repeat what worked with one person in one movement, when Jesus used methods that worked with one person in one instance? What are the “why’s” of the life of Jesus that we miss when we over focus on the details of “how” He did things? What are the unseen realities that governed His decisions and how do those play out in our own lives?
These are the questions I ponder. I don’t know that I have many clear or fully developed answers but the questions are taking more shape. Learning is at the heart of the Great Commission. To make learners of Jesus in all peoples in all the earth. So, ask questions and let the Holy Spirit guide you into all truth. Sometimes small insights have major implications in the way we live and the way we lead. Let’s keep going in our journey of learning to lead like Jesus.