Sunday, February 20, 2011

LIVING A LIFE THAT IMPACTS OTHERS

This part two in my series on the Top10 leadership principles of Jesus from the, "The Maxwell leadership bible". You can find number 1 and 2 here if you didn't get the chance to read it. 


Number's 3 and 4 are: Live the life before you lead others and Impact comes from relationships, not positions.


#3: Live the life before you lead others (Luke 7:22, 23; John 14:11)


So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[a]are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Luke 7:22 (NIV) (Emphasis mine)


Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me. Luke 7:23 (NIV)


Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. John 14:11 (NIV) (Emphasis mine)


John the Baptist had sent messengers to inquire of Jesus if he was indeed the messiah or if he should be expecting another. Jesus reply in Luke 7:22 was one of, "Look at how I live and what I do" He was answering the messengers by letting them see that he was living his life as the example of how we should live. The great part about Jesus was that he didn't say one thing and then do another. He literally practiced what he preached, no pun intended. He didn't live his life and minister to those that others felt he should be ministering to. He went to the heart of the problem and dealt with people where they where. He didn't say, "Get your life right and then come to me" He did what any good leader does and that is go to the people where they are and lead them to a better way. 


Sitting in your office and waiting for your people to come to you, is not the way to lead. You have to leave your comfort zone and go out into the places where your people work and are in their comfort zones. Most people are very tense and nervous when they have to come to your office and talk to you. If you go to them, they will be more comfortable and will not feel intimidated. Plus, you coming to them shows them you care enough to come to where they are. 


This is something we, as leaders, need to take to heart. We can't tell people, we have to show people. We can't wait for people to get to where we think they need to be before we start leading them. We have to go where they are in their experience and work and lead them from there to a better way. We must first show by example, we must practice what we preach, walk the talk, etc...


#4: Impact comes from relationships, not positions. (Luke 9:6; John 4:5-30).


When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He told them:“Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere. Luke 9:1-6 (NIV) (Emphasis mine)


The interesting thing about this is how Jesus delegates the work to the apostles. He first empowers them and gives them authority. He then gives them directions in how to carry out their work. He has already shown them how to work by them being there watching him. He showed them the impact on others by going to the people where they where. If you notice, Jesus tells them to rely on the relationships they make while they are out doing their work for food, shelter and clothing. He also doesn't tell them to use their positions as his disciples to do their work. He empowers them to do their own work, even though he is the source of their strength. 



So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
 17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
   Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
   21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
 27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him

The fact that Jesus went through Samaria to get to Galilee is quite significant for that time. Here's why, Jesus was a Jew and in Jewish culture the Samaritan's where seen as unclean, a mixed race, and didn't practice Judaism. Therefore, due to their hatred of the Samaritan's, Jews would travel out of their way to avoid going through Samaria. By going the direct route through Samaria, instead of the traditional route, Jesus once again shows us his desire to reach those that are labeled, "Undesirable" 


What can we learn about true leadership from this encounter?

  • Leaders initiate contact: Jesus spoke first to the Samaritan woman. She would have never spoken to him first, due to him being a male, stranger and a Jew.
  • Leaders establish common ground: Jesus established the common ground by asking for a drink of water, the woman was there to draw water from the well.
  • Leaders listen and allow others to speak: Jesus let her do most of the talking, leading the conversation, but not dominating it.
  • Leaders arouse interest: Jesus sparked her interest by speaking of, "Living water"
  • Leaders take others only as far as they are ready to go: Jesus didn't try and push the woman to accept what she couldn't. She was still focused on her own materialistic condition of having to work to get water.
  • Leaders accept others where they are: Jesus knew where this woman was in her life, even when she acknowledged her lifestyle, Jesus continued to minister to her. He didn't tell her to go and get her life straight and then come back.
  • Leaders stick with the key issues: Jesus kept the conversation leading her to the knowledge that she needed the salvation that Jesus offered.
  • Leaders communicate issues directly and simply: When she made mention of the messiah, Jesus acknowledged that he was the messiah.  
  • (These points taken from page 1308 of, "The maxwell leadership bible")
Next Sunday, #5: Leaders must replenish themselves (Mark 1:35-38; 6:31)
#6: Great Leaders call for great commitment (Matthew 10:17; Mark 8:34 - 38)

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