Jesus was an Effective Leader
Pastors, and other Christians, who wish to be effective in leadership would do well to study the life of Christ to discover what makes a person able to lead others.
An effective leader must have a vision. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18). Jesus had a vision and that was to bring many sons into glory. “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:10).
An effective leader must have the ability to communicate in a simple manner. Jesus was able to communicate in a simple manner. The Bible says that Jesus spoke to the people in parables, which are earthly stories with a heavenly meaning. As a result, “the common people heard Him gladly” (Mark 12:37).
An effective leader must be able to delegate responsibility. Jesus knew how to delegate authority. “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach (Mark 3:14). Prior to His ascension, Jesus came to His disciples and said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:18-20).
An effective leader must be able to finesse the vision. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
An effective leader must be authentic. Jesus said He would lay down His life for His sheep, and He did. He was authentic. “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
An effective leader must know how to be succinct, or concise. When the question is asked, “Jesus, why did you come?” The answer is succinctly given. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
An effective leader must be direct. On the first day of His public ministry, Jesus took up and read from the prophet Isaiah. Then, Jesus closed the scroll and said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21). Jesus was the Messiah that was to come. It was that simple, and that direct. Later, as the Messiah, the Lord would severely rebuke the religious leaders of Israel in a series of seven woes “Woes” (Matt. 23:13-39). Jesus was direct.
An effective leader must have enthusiasm. “And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:13-17). The enthusiasm Jesus had for the work His Father gave Him to do inspired enthusiasm in others, when they were touched by His ministry. The woman at the well ran into the city and told others with great excitement, “Come, see a Man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” Enthusiasm is infectious.
An effective leader must be moral. On one occasion Jesus invited the audience to charge and convict Him of sin. “Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?” (John 8:46). No one could ever convict Jesus of sin, because Christ was a morale person. Leaders must live a life of personal integrity, in public, and in private.
An effective leader must be full of positive energy. “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matt. 17:1-5).
An effective leader must have an upbeat attitude. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2)
An effective leader demands accountability. “And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida” (Luke 9:10). When Peter said something inappropriate, the Lord Jesus rebuked him sharply saying, “Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men” (Mark 8:33). There was accountability.
An effective leader must act ethically and responsibly. One day during His ministry, some people came to Jesus and said unto Him, “ Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. 16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. 17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him” (Mark 12:14-17). Jesus lived in an ethical and responsible way.
An effective leader must keep his word. Jesus always kept His word. Broken promises destroy a relationship. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once noted, “What upset me is not that you lied to me, but that from now on I can no longer believe you.” The Day America Told the Truth by James Patterson and Peter Kim says that: 91% of Americans lie regularly; 63% men and 52% woman have lied to protect themselves; and 40% said they had lied on job applications. What does this tell us? It says that the heart is corrupt, and the soul is in need of conversion.
When the ladies came to the tomb of Christ on the third day, and after His resurrection, an angel met them and said, “He is not here: for He is risen, as He said, Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matt. 28:6). Jesus kept His word. An effective leader must not make promises that cannot be kept. A promise made is only as good as the One who made the promise. Jesus has made a great promise. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).
The Christian has confidence that Jesus can keep His promise to give everlasting life to all who believe in the Father who sent Him, because God raised Him from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus is the guarantee of eternal life. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming” (1 Cor. 15:20-23).
Promises made must be promises kept.