Great leadership is an essential aspect in any organization. Many experts claim to have the secret of successful leadership. Whether in business, politics, or religion, leadership is an important topic. Decisions that are made, plans that are implemented, and visions that are inspired are components of leadership. Some great leaders in history are Winston Churchill, George Washington, and Mahatma Gandhi. Leadership is vital to business and politics, but it is most essential in religion. In the arsenal of religion, the greatest example of leadership is Jesus Christ. Today’s church leaders can gleam principles of leadership from Jesus’ ministry.
Some attributes of Jesus’ leadership skills are authenticity; His ministry began and ends with this quality. “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” (Revelation 1:8, NKJV) Jesus empowered His disciples and those that followed with the ability to make a difference. This difference was made despite receiving money, power, and prestige.
He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts—but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics. (Mark 6:8-9, NKJV)
Jesus was honest and felt empathy for others. This is evident in the story of raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus led with purpose and conviction. He had a willingness to see the vision through and all His actions worked towards the vision which was to save mankind. Jesus leadership ability builds enduring relationships based on three foundational principles:
1. Loving Others
2. Teaching and Mentoring
3. Servant Leadership
As a leader, Jesus was strategic, meticulous, and compassionate. Jesus did not follow the norm but God’s plan. And it touched the people directly. Jesus’ leadership was fostered by loving others, teaching and mentoring, and servant leadership. This paper will explore these three leadership principles and give insight for today’s church leaders.
THE PRINCIPLE OF LOVING OTHERS
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He demonstrated selfless acts of love. Jesus’ feelings towards followers was evident in His treatment of individuals—especially those who were considered “not important” by the world’s standards. He taught, fed, and healed the multitudes. He outwitted the Pharisees and ultimately gave His life out of love for mankind.
First, Jesus showed love by teaching people regardless of their social status. Jesus taught so that people would understand the Gospel. “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7, NKJV) Jesus taught Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council, about his own soul and its salvation. One must understand that Nicodemus was a scholar and thoroughly knowledgeable in the Law. Yet Nicodemus had questions about the Law and sought Jesus for clarification.