A big part of my story is working in the business world before being called into full time pastoral ministry. Those 15 years did a lot to prepare me for ministry. But it was the way God gave me a passion to be a better leader, to learn, grow and teach about leadership that really prepared me for the last 20 years in full time ministry.
I read books by the hundreds, I went to conferences and workshops and served on boards and advanced at work. I got involved at my church and started serving and helping lead the church as a volunteer.
My life mission statement became Growing myself and others in Faith, Character and Leadership. I say all that to say this. Our world is in desperate need of leadership! Not just any leadership, but leaders like Jesus.
I really believe that if more Christians would be like Jesus everyone in the world would want to be a christian. Becoming like Jesus is something all Christians should be desiring and longing for.
How many of you would consider yourself to be a leader? Well I believe that all of us are leaders. The reason I say that is because when you boil it down, leadership is influence. If you are a parent or grandparent you have influence! If you are married you have influence! If you have friends you have influence, If you have brothers or sisters you have influence, If you have co-workers you have influence. As a christian you have influence, you have the Holy Spirit, access to God 24/7. That makes you different than the world, that gives you something to contribute to the world.
Jesus is the best Leadership model of all time. Jesus was the most influential leader that ever lived. He was the GOAT – No one even comes close. How do I know that? Who would have thought that a carpenter and a few followers would be more influential than the Roman empire, but today we name our children after Jesus and his followers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Mary, Martha, Rhoda, Rebecca – and we name our cats and dogs, Nero, Caesar.
So how do we lead like Jesus, How can we become more like him in the way we influence others around us? Let’s look in Matthew. Here we find two of the disciples jockeying for position in Jesus kingdom, they even brought their mom. They wanted to be rulers like the Roman empire they were under. They expected Jesus to overthrow the roman empire and set up a new kingdom. Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. Verse 21 “And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
As a Christian you are bound to obey Jesus, his commands and teachings. Servant leadership is not a suggestion from Jesus it is a mandate, or a command. When it comes to leading like Jesus it starts in your heart, your why. It’s a character question – Are you here to serve or be served? Trusting God, believing his promises, understanding who God is and having a close intimate relationship with your loving heavenly Father wipes out our fears.
The heart thing is really important because if you don’t get the heart right you’re not gonna be able to be like Jesus. Jesus came to change our hearts.
The second thing that helps us to Lead like Jesus is our Head, having the head of a servant. That means thinking like a servant, thinking like Jesus. Jesus’ vision was making his disciples fishers of men. What he wanted to accomplish was for them to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20
The third part of servant leadership which is the Hands of a servant leader -being a servant, steward, and shepherd. The hands part of being is servant leader is asking how can I help you?
The last part of being a servant leader is Habits. Every morning the enemy is waiting to get you off track, to feed your ego, to puff up your pride or feed your fear. How do you recalibrate yourself on a daily basis, so you can be the leader God wants you to be every day? In Mark chapter 1 we see Jesus healing many people and teaching many people and drawing big crowds. It says he got up very early in the morning while it was still dark and departed to a desolate or solitary place and there he prayed. The disciples were looking for him because people had gathered again to hear from him and to be healed, but he said Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also for that is why I came out. Remember to lead like Jesus we need his Heart, Head, Hands and Habits.