Jesus Christ and the Development of New Leaders


Jesus Christ spent a lot of time intentionally developing leaders who would continue His work on earth. He chose, called, taught, mentored, commissioned and empowered them. In doing so, He transformed a group of very ordinary (somewhat raw and unreliable) followers into a nucleus who would turn society upside down in just one generation.

We can learn from Jesus' example how to develop the next generation of Christian leaders.... godly men and women who will be qualified and equipped to lead the church the way He led the first Christian community. If we fail to do so, we will have walked away from a most precious mandate and left a leadership vacuum.

Christian leadership has been politicised, secularised, commercialised and compromised over many centuries. But Jesus Christ remains at the centre and is determined to build His church. That's why I have hope that the baton will be passed successfully as we move forward, and the Body of Christ will grow and increasingly reflect Him for who He is: Saviour, Lord and King in our daily affairs.

Now is the time to understand the principles our Master applied when developing those who helped Him plant the world Christian movement. It is easy to dismiss Jesus' leadership strategies as belonging to "another time" and "another culture". However, what Jesus had to say (and do) about leadership is good for every generation of Christians, and applies to every generation (let's face it ... the human family has not fundamentally changed all that much). No one else has achieved what He has effected in world history. He is the beginning and the end, the final word in transformative leadership that we need to see evidenced in the church.

The following pages take a few of Jesus' examples of leadership that worked and put down a challenge for the Christian community to follow in His footsteps in developing new leaders.

Don't lament, "We lack leaders". Instead, ask the Holy Spirit to help you strategically plan to develop emerging leaders around you and see God's work multiply in the lives of countless others..

Jesus as Leader

"As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. Come, follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men. At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

(Matthew 4:18-22, NIV)

"Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. These are the twelve he appointed....

(Mark 3:13-19, NIV)

"One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor."

(Luke 6:12-16, NIV)

He Prayerfully Selected Them

Principle: the call to Christian leadership must ultimately come from God and be evident
Suggestions for Developing Leaders Today

He Called Them

Principle: in order to be effective, the man or woman of God must be totally surrendered
Suggestions for Developing Leaders Today

He Taught Them

Principle: Christian leadership must be based on the truth
Suggestions for Developing Leaders Today

He Mentored Them

Principle: Christian leadership must be based on the character of Christ
Suggestions for Developing Leaders Today

He Tested Them

Principle: God will test leaders before (and after) using them to full effectiveness
Suggestions for Developing Leaders Today

He Commissioned Them

Principle: spiritual authority and release mark genuine Christian leadership; its source is God
Suggestions for Developing Leaders Today

He Anointed Them with the Spirit

Principle: without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Christian leadership lacks purpose & power
Suggestions for Developing Leaders Today

He Led Them into World Mission

Principle: the goal of authentic Christian leadership is to fulfil Christ's global mission
Suggestions for Developing Leaders Today

He Taught Them To Develop Others

Principle: authentic Christian leaders will invest their lives in NextGen leadership
Suggestions for Developing Leaders Today


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