Sunday, February 13, 2011

Leadership Principles of Jesus

I came across this list by John Maxwell titled, The top 10 leadership principles of Jesus, in, "The Maxwell leadership bible" Mr. Maxwell didn't comment on each of the principles, he simply referenced scripture to each principle. I want to go over this list over the next few Sundays. I hope you enjoy it and it gives you food for thought. Here's the list as it is printed:
  1. Leadership is servanthood (Matt. 20:25-28; Mark 8:35)
  2. Let your purpose prioritize your life (Matt. 6:33; Luke 19:10; John 17:4)
  3. Live the life before you lead others (Luke 7:22, 23; John 14:11)
  4. Impact comes from relationships, not positions (Luke 9:6; John 4: 5-30)
  5. Leaders must replenish themselves (Mark 1:35 - 38; 6:31)
  6. Great leaders cal for great commitment (Matt. 10:17; Mark 8:34-38)
  7. Show security when handling tough issues (Mark 11:27 - 33; Luke 20:19-26)
  8. Credibility comes by meeting needs and solving problems (Luke 5:12 - 15; 8:38, 39)
  9. Leaders must choose and develop their key people (Mark 3:14; Luke 10:1)
  10. There is no success without a successor (Matt.28:20; Acts 1:8)
I wanted to go ahead and give you the full list, that way you can review and study it on your own and ahead of each posting. I would love to start a conversation about each point as I cover them. It's always interesting to hear and learn from others point of view. 

Today, I want to cover the first two points. 
  • Leadership is servanthood25Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matt. 20: 25 - 28 (NIV) (Emphasis mine)
    • In the verses above, Jesus states 3 times, with different examples of how one is to lead. It is radically different then what most people describe for leadership. Jesus tells us that to become first you need to place yourself last. Asking, "How can I help you?" vice, "How can you help me?" Can you imagine the impact on others when you put them and their needs first? Leading with a, others first perspective, will only strengthen you as a leader. To see more of my thoughts on Servant leadership see this post, Wash your peoples feet
  • Let your purpose prioritize your life33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well Matthew 6:33 (NIV) 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10 (NIV) 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. John 17:4 (NIV)
    • In the 3 verses above Jesus states his purpose and what defined his priorities while on earth. Jesus vision was God centered, vice self centered. Jesus purpose was defined by God. When we first seek God's will and purpose for our lives, only then will we truly start to live the life we were designed to live. The end result of living out God's purpose is the glory our lives brings to God. 
    • The awesome thing is that Jesus was not the only one that God designed with a purpose. Each of us are designed by God for a life of purpose. This purpose is so ingrained into who we are that God has ordained our lives. Look what David says in Psalms about God and our purpose:
      •   13 For you created my inmost being; 
           you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
        14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
           your works are wonderful, 
           I know that full well. 
        15 My frame was not hidden from you 
           when I was made in the secret place, 
           when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
        16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; 
           all the days ordained for me were written in your book
           before one of them came to be. 

        17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God! 
           How vast is the sum of them! 
        18 Were I to count them, 
           they would outnumber the grains of sand— 
           when I awake, I am still with you. Psalms 139: 13 - 18 (NIV) (Emphasis mine)
  • Ordained: or·dain  (ôr-dntr.v. or·dainedor·dain·ingor·dains
a. To invest with ministerial or priestly authority; confer holy orders on.
b. To authorize as a rabbi.
2. To order by virtue of superior authority; decree or enact.
3. To prearrange unalterably; predestine: 

Look at the meaning of the word, "Ordained." "Confer holy orders on", "To order by virtue of superior authority" Now, reflect on the fact that God has applied his purpose for your life with this same intent. Furthermore, look at the fact that we are not just a fleeting thought for God. David proclaims that God's thoughts for us outnumber grains of sand! Next time your at the beach or in a kids sand box, reach down and grab a handful of sand. Now, slowly pour it out of your hand. Try and count each and every grain of sand, that's how many thoughts God has about you. That's how important you are to God. That's why he has a purpose for your life. 

Jesus life shows us the power of a leader is when we serve others. It also shows us the power of purpose in our lives when we anchor our purpose to our creator. 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.~ Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

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