Developing Authentic Leadership - WWJD?

Developing Authentic Leadership - WWJD?


Jesus Christ spent a lot of time intentionally developing leaders to continue His work on earth. He chose and called people from the "marketplace". He taught, mentored, commissioned and empowered them. In doing so, He transformed a group of (ordinary) 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 and in the community the way He led. This is a previous mandate.

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 He 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 (the human family has not fundamentally changed all that much). No one else has achieved what He 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 to develop your own life, and then 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)

1. He Prayerfully Selected Them:

The call to Christian leadership comes from God and will be evident.

Lessons for Us

2. He Called Them

In order to be effective, the man or woman of God must be totally surrendered

"Follow me" (Mark 1:7) - this is an absolute call - to die to self and follow Him (because He would first die for them) - and an immediate call (Matthew 8:20, 21) - a deferred response is a negative response

Lessons for Us

3. He Taught Them

Christian leadership must be based on the truth. Jesus "spoke" to many crowds but He "taught" the disciples:

Lessons for Us

4. He Mentored Them

Christian leadership must be based on the character of Christ

Lessons for Us

5. He Tested Them

God will test leaders before (and after) using them to full effectiveness

Lessons for Us

6. He Commissioned Them

Lessons for Us

7. He Anointed Them with the Spirit

Without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Christian leadership lacks purpose & power

His initial and ongoing anointing was visible to all

Lessons for Us

8. He Led Them into World Mission

Lessons for Us

9. He Taught Them to Develop Others

Authentic Christian leaders will invest their lives in NextGen leadership

  • Jesus built solid disciples, filled them with the Spirit, then released them as leaders and teachers, so that the work would continue long after them
  • His teaching was reproducible in other people
  • Lessons for Us


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