Jesus … Single Like Me: He Modeled Leadership
- Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick (John 6:1-2).
2. To build a team that is F.A.T.: Jesus, when building his team (his disciples), prayerfully considered each person he asked to follow him. He spent time with them, talking to them while allowing them time to also pray about it. When we are asked by God to be leaders, we need to build a team that will be faithful, available and teachable (F.A.T.). Even if each part isn't matured in each person, you see the potential. The disciples weren't all there yet, but Jesus led them (over the three years) and got them there. Leadership is not a one event occurrence but a journey between you, them and the Lord. Remember, you are not just building a team for this event or that study or that conference but for life. What you teach them today will affect all their other relationships for the rest of their lives.
Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near (John 6:3-4).
3. To not forget the bread: As a leader/follower, we must never forget the ultimate purpose in reaching people for Christ: for those who are lost, to lead them toward salvation and for those who are saved, to help them grow in their walks with the Lord. We can easily as leaders forget this purpose and get caught up in designing logos, naming our ministries, coming up with fun things to do, etc. Jesus gives us the example of remembering to not forget the bread, the meat per se. Don't allow what you don't have to distract you from what you do have. Remember, God is the ultimate resource for all things. It's not a resource issue but a distribution issue.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” (John 6:5).
4. To allow failure: If there is one thing that makes a good leader it is failure. But the key is to learn something through the failure. I love it when Philip is questioning Jesus on how they were going to buy enough food to feed this huge crowd. Philip has just seen Jesus do these incredible miracles and then in the same time period asked such a dumb question. Jesus is again showing us how it’s okay to fail. It's okay to not do it right the first time. We learn from our mistakes. So this time you prayed after you found the venue for your event. Or this time your leadership team was made up of friends versus who God has to bring together. Or this time you had a disagreement and didn't resolve it. Again, all of these things can lead to the growth of you and your team. Jesus allows our failures to see what we are going to do with them. A teachable spirit makes a great leader.
He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do (John 6:6).
5. To allow others to have viewpoints, ideas: It's important as a leader to allow others to share what God is telling them. You never know the ideas that might come out of folks. Remember it’s not your vision, but God's vision. Embrace the ideas, direction, and resources given by God to others. The more you allow others to share, the more you empower others to be used by God. The more you affirm their gifting. Plus, it’s a lot more fun to have everyone's input and ideas working together.
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:8-9).
6. To develop a leadership structure: Jesus gives us such a great example of how to minister to folks. You can't sit on the edge of the crowd and just yell at them. True ministry requires that you build a structure, getting organized so that no one falls through the cracks. Building structure also allows you to measure success, failure, etc. In another account, it says that Jesus had them sit in groups of 50 (Luke 9:14). Groups of 50 are much more manageable than one big group of 5,000 men, plus women and children. But here is the really cool thing about this picture of leadership. Even with the small groups, it still required the leaders—the disciples—to go in deep to feed the people. And upon going in deep, they could really see the needs that the people had. They could hear the concerns, the fears and even what folks thought about Jesus. They could even begin to see some new leaders being developed. You can't minister from the sidelines. A true leader gets his hands dirty by working alongside. How can you ever think of ministering if you don't experience what the people are feeling? Jesus, single like me, goes deep into our lives physically and spiritually, giving us a wonderful example to follow.
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