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5 Characteristics of Jesus’ Leadership

5 Characteristics of Jesus’ Leadership

Last week we began looking at Jesus’ leadership by examining just one characteristic, Servant Leadership. Our text was Philippians 2:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…who took on the very nature of a servant.”

We previously talked about what it looked like to be a servant leader. Of course we know Jesus had many more excellent leadership attributes. There are a few more I want to examine this morning. Here’s my thinking – “If my attitude should be the same as that of Jesus, what are some other characteristics I should be following? If Jesus is the lead pilot, especially in Leadership, how can I align myself with his leadership?”

Watch this video of the Blue Angels. They are 18 inches apart, flying between 400-700 mph. All taking their light patterns from the lead pilot. So, as I am moving through my life, sometimes at great speed, what do I need to do to stay in formation with Jesus?

5 Characteristics of Jesus’ Leadership

1. Jesus was Disciplined in Prayer

Read Mark 1:32-38

That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”

Jesus makes prayer a priority. He gets up early and does the opposite of what we would have expected.

Mark 9:28-29

After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Apparently the disciples thought they could do things on their own. When they wing it, they lose power.

Luke 11:1-2

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples…..{followed by the Lord’s Prayer}”

This is the only recorded instance of the disciples asking Jesus to teach them something. Of all things, they asked for prayer! Because things change through prayer.

Mark 14:32-38

And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Understandably Jesus’ own flesh was wanting to resist the cross (“Take this cup from me”). Yet Jesus gains strength in prayer. The disciples sleep and are soon swept away.

Here is an illustration involving Charles Spurgeon known as the “Boiler Room”:

“Five college students were spending a Sunday in London, so they went to hear the famed C.H. Spurgeon preach. Waiting for the doors to open, the students were greeted by a man who asked, “Gentlemen, let me show you around. Would you like to see the heating plant of this church?” They were not particularly interested, for it was a hot day in July. But they didn’t want to offend the stranger, so they consented. The young men were taken down a stairway, a door was quietly opened, and their guide whispered, “This is our heating plant.” Surprised, the students saw 700 people bowed in prayer, seeking a blessing on the service that was soon to begin in the auditorium above. Softly closing the door, the gentleman then introduced himself. It was Charles Spurgeon.”

If there is one place to be aligned to Jesus, it is prayer. How is your Boiler Room with God? Or do you just wing it?

2. Jesus Led Himself Well: He Learned Self-Control

Proverbs 25:28

“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.”

Jesus understood if he was going to lead others well, he had to lead himself first! One area of breakdown and all would be ruined. Just like a wall amde for flood protection. If only one part of the wall is not up to strength, the flood will still prevail.

Jesus time and time again shows us his self discipline. He fasted for 40 days, he constantly withdrew to solitude with his father, and he repeatedly walked away from recognition. After all, many of the people wanted to make him king!

John 6:14

“After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they said, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.”

How are your walls of Self-Leadership?

3. Jesus was Laser Focused on his Vision

John 17:4 says, “I have brought you glory on earth,” (my definition of Glory – the visible explosion of the infinitely great attributes of God), “I have completed the work you gave me to do. I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.”Isn’t that surprising? There are so many more still unreached. .In his humanity, even Jesus’ role was limited.

1 Corinthians 12:27

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

What’s your part? You might have more than one role. Husband, Father,  Churchman, Work? Some roles might have you in the lead, and some roles you might be in support position.

Whatever it is, do you live with a sense of purpose? That you are on Mission? Do you know your part? Are you in alignment with Jesus?

4. Distractions Were Part of the Mission

Jesus handled distractions with grace.

A paraphrased example from Mark 5, the Bleeding Woman: A large crowd followed and pressed around Jesus because he was going to heal a Father’s daughter. A woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” The woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole story. Jesus did not treat her like a detour or a distraction.

Here is another instance from Mark 10: Jesus was passing through Jericho with his disciples & a large crowd. As they were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” Once again, he was not a distraction.

How do you handle people or events that aren’t part of your agenda for the day? Do you treat them like distractions? Jesus didn’t, and saved lives in the process.

5. Jesus Built a Team, Needed a Team, and Gave his Mission Away to a Team

Jesus doesn’t intend your life to be a solo mission. He built a small team of 12 disciples and larger support team who helped him in his ministry. John the Baptist was the first team member!

Jesus eventually gave his mission away to the team that he built. We see this in Matthew 28 and the great commission. Read Acts 2:12-14 This is one of my favorite scenes! The Holy Spirit had just fallen on the Apostles and they were preaching the Gospel in several different languages. After all the commotion, Peter stepped up as the leader, just as Jesus intended.

And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.”

To stay aligned with Jesus, it will take a team. Do you have a spiritual team around you, or do you fly solo? Who are you leading?

Questions

  1. Prayer: What’s the temperature in your Prayer Boiler Room?
  2. Self Control – Proverbs 25:28 – “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” What are the weak spots in your wall?
  3. Laser Focused Vision: Do you live with a sense of purpose, that you are on mission. Do you know your part, are you in alignment with Jesus?
  4. Distractions: How do you handle people or events that aren’t part of your agenda for the day? Do you treat them like distractions?
  5. Team: To stay aligned with Jesus, you need a team. Do you have a spiritual team around you or do you fly solo? Who are you leading?

Friends and Brothers,

Paul Phillips Signiture

 

 

 

Paul Phillips
Pastor, Christ Community Church
www.ironleader.org
paul@cccwnc.com

 

 

 

 

Leadership When Things Look Impossible – Leadership Lesson

Leadership When Things Look Impossible – Leadership Lesson

Several times it looks like it’s “over” for the Iguana. The odds of survival seem impossible. In the book of Joshua, Gideon has to lead through what looks like impossible circumstances. Gideon wasn’t perfect but his faith in God put him into the: “Faith Hall of Fame” – Hebrews 11: “By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell . . . And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, Samuel, David and the prophets…”

Gideon had to learn by Faith, not by Strength

Background:

Joshua lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. When Joshua died, there was a vacuum in leadership. (Judges 2:11-12) “The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. They abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the Lord to anger. They abandoned the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth.” This is what happens when there is no one to lead people toward God.

“Everything rises and falls on leadership, everything.”

John Maxwell

A pattern begins to develop in the book of Judges: The people rebel against
God. They suffer, they cry out, and God sends a Judge (Military Leader) to
rescue them.

Judges 6:1-10: For a period of 7 years the Midianites would invade during harvest season and swallow up all of Israel’s resources. The Israelites were so afraid of the them that they lived in caves: (Read vs. 1-6a – Israel was brought very low).

This already looks like an impossible situation. (Just like the Iguana. Before anything happens, it looks like the odds are against him!) In reality, this is a great moment for God to be noticed! God is looking for leaders who will rise up and point people to Him in the midst of Oppression, Poverty & Fear.

3 Snapshots of Gideon learning to lead by Faith, not by Strength

1.  Judges 6:11-16.

Gideon doesn’t start out looking like a strong candidate for leadership:

  • vs. 11 – Gideon is hiding
  • vs. 13 – Gideon blames God
  • vs. 15 – Gideon doesn’t see himself as capable (He is the least – and least qualified)

Yet, the main person to focus on in these verses is not Gideon – but God! Romans 8:31 – “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

  • vs. 12 – When God is involved, he sees things that are so much bigger than we can see about ourselves. Gideon’s self assessment might have been correct, but Gideon wasn’t adding God into his equation.
  • vs. 16 – “I will be with you” – If that’s true, that’s all that matters. “Be strong and courageous,” Why? “because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!”

So the first part of leading by Faith and not by (personal) strength – is absolute trust God is in the equation.  Then, impossible circumstances can be faced.

Most biblical leadership doesn’t come as a result of self-promotion. Those who tried to self-promote were told to get in the back of the line: to be servants. (The disciples – “How can we be first or great?”)

Leadership so often comes as a disruption to our plans. You see this so often in the Bible. God t-bones someone to move and lead in a different direction than they had planned. For example, Gideon was just trying to feed his family and stay out of the Midianites’ sight.

2. Judges 6:25-32

Let’s remember, what was Gideon’s ultimate assignment? His first assignment was this: to conquer the evil in his own house. 6:25-26a – “Pull down idols . . . and build on top an altar to the LORD”

This is so important as a leader. The biggest problem Gideon faced was not the Midianites, it was his own people! Recall Judges 2:11-12 – “The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals . . .They abandoned the Lord”

Before you take on external enemies, please examine potential problems in your own soul. Our leadership is often limited because we can’t lead ourselves!

Now this request by God looks like another impossible situation. The people would be happy to have Gideon expose and defeat the Midianites, but they weren’t at all interested in having their own sin exposed and defeated! This is an enormous challenge in Self Leadership – you have to make changes that will make those closest to you uncomfortable.

Gideon clearly understands the risks (vs. 27). He was afraid, and for good reason! (vs. 30). Despite his fear, Gideon was faithful.

3. Judges 7:1-22

In chapter 6, Gideon wins the internal battle. Now is the time for the eternal battle against the Midianites. Gideon does what any military leader would do, he gathers an army: 32,000 men.

(Judges 7:2) “The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with
you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest
Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.'”

What a great verse! God is basically saying: “There is a problem here. 32,000 makes this situation look possible, so I need to reduce the umber to make the situation look impossible.” Why? The answer is in the text. You will make the victory about yourself! Your salvation is not about you, so God eventually reduces the number of soldiers to 300 (<1% of the original amount.) Now it’s impossible without God.

Instead of quitting, instead of complaining, Gideon faithfully trusts God and moves forward.

Questions

  1. How do you respond when the situation looks impossible?
  2. Is it possible that God wants you to begin a new leadership challenge by first examining the conditions of your own soul? What might need to be cut down in your life before you can move forward?
  3. Is there a leadership opportunity in 2017? Something God is calling you to that you might be resisting because it seems impossible?

Friends and Brothers,

Paul Phillips Signiture

 

 

 

Paul Phillips
Pastor, Christ Community Church
www.ironleader.org
paul@cccwnc.com

Noah: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction – Leadership Lesson

Noah: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction – Leadership Lesson

A Long Obedience in the Same DirectionThis is the title of a book that I read many years ago. The title has forever captured my attention. Its because its not about being flashy, popular, or fast (which are all values in our culture). The book is about getting up each and every day, even when we are knocked down by our own mistakes or by others. Its about continuing to do the same thing over and over again in the same direction – the right direction.

Men, my overarching question is this: As leaders who are often discouraged and wonder if we are making any impact, how do we get up each day and continue to lead in the same right direction?

One reason I like watching sports is the way it compresses so many of life’s questions into a two hour period:

  • How well did you prepare?
  • How well do you adjust to new situations?
  • Can you control your emotions in the middle of a tense situation?
  • How do you respond to winning/losing?
  • How do you react to fatigue?
  • What happens when you get knocked down, make a bad play or decision, or get penalized?

Few sports compress these questions into a shorter period than boxing. Some refer to Tyson vs Douglas in 1990 as the greatest upset in boxing history. Tyson was the undefeated and undisputed heavyweight champion. In Tyson’s previous fight, he knocked out his opponent in 93 seconds. Douglas was physically impressive, but experts considered him soft and a waste of potential.

Douglas knocked out Tyson in round 10. Notice that Douglas got back up just before the bell. I wonder what kind of regrets Douglas would have had if he didn’t stand up.

“In a round that most thought Buster would pack it in, He comes back showing the heart.” – Jim Lampley, HBO Announcer

“The main thing I wanted to do was express my joy for my Father – He’s my Hero..to fulfill a dream, not only for myself but for him – is the most rewarding thing in the world.” – Buster Douglas

As we keep these things in mind, lets turn attention to Noah. If any leader ever showed: “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction” – it was Noah.

Noah – Genesis 6

In Genesis 6:9, we see “Noah walked with God.” This is such a perfect description of long obedience. Walking with God is the Goal & Destination. We don’t walk with God to get somewhere. Walking with God is somewhere. We don’t use God to get to heaven. God is the goal.

In Buster Douglas’ own words, “The main thing I wanted to do was express my joy for my Father.” Of course this was about his earthly father, but can we say this about our heavenly father? For Noah, thats the destination. Expressing joy – walking with God.

Question: How would you characterize your relationship with God? What is your destination?

In Genesis 6:5-7, we see the culture in Noah’s day. This is the culture Noah had to walk with God through: “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Noah’s culture is so wicked that its causing de-creation. All the good that God created in Genesis 1 is going backward. The desire for the knowledge of “good and evil” leads only to evil. Sin always has a consuming effect. Men, this is a WARNING for pornography. One look can lead to being consumed.

In between Genesis 6:22-7:1 is 120 years. Think about that. Think about being Noah: Everyday for 120 years he answers the bell. He gets up and does what God commands.

Consider how many times he must have gotten discouraged by his surrounding culture. I wonder how many times he got knocked down, was called a fool, or wondered if all his work would eventually be worth it? For 120 years, Noah exercises a “Long Obedience in the Same Direction”.

Genesis 7:1 highlights Noah’s leadership. One blog I read said “Noah wasn’t a very good leader in his time because he couldn’t persuade anyone else to get on the Ark beside his family.” What is your reaction to that?

Here’s my response: When you think about your leadership, don’t imagine a stage, a powerful spotlight position, a title like: President, CEO, General, or Boss. Instead, think about influencing your family or a small group (like 3 couples). That’s enough to start an avalanche of influence. Remember, Jesus decided 12 was a good number.

Fathers have a great influence. Noah had a lasting influence on his family; he was able to lead them inside the ark.

Recently, I was listening to a business podcast about hiring. Here is what the expert said:

“I’ve learned not to hire people who have unresolved issues with their Fathers because those issues will show up in the workplace and I don’t want to spend time unwinding them.”

Fathers, consider the power of your influence in your family. Just from leading your family well, you can start a “Trophic Cascade”.

 Questions

1. How would you characterize your relationship with God? What is your Destination?

2. What’s your greatest challenge in getting up every day, getting up from being knocked down and continuing to live in: “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction?”

3. Single or Married: What did you learn about leadership from your Father? Married: What are your challenges as the leader of your family?

Friends and Brothers,

Paul Phillips Signiture

 

 

 

Paul Phillips
Pastor, Christ Community Church
paul@cccwnc.com