Jesus had a unique approach to leadership, and He was incredibly effective. We know that leadership is a tricky thing. And it always feels like there is a new way to lead or someone has found the key to being the best leader. We all have different ideas of what works or doesn’t with leadership. But Jesus didn't try to control or manipulate people; instead, He showed them love and compassion, and they followed Him willingly.
As Pastors and ministry leaders, there is no one we should learn more from than Jesus. There are so many excellent books and articles on leadership. Take time to look at the resources that are available to you and find what works for you. Attend a seminar or workshop. Find a mentor. Continue to grow as a leader. As you do, make sure you constantly compare what you are learning or seeing to Jesus.
4 Leadership Skills To Lead More Like Jesus:
1. Be humble and gentle.
We must look to Jesus to learn and begin with humility and gentleness. It can be difficult to lead people with humility and gentleness, especially when we are trying to get things done or when we feel like we are under pressure. But Jesus always showed humility and gentleness, even in opposition. He never lost His temper or became defensive; instead, He always responded with love. He only reacted harshly to the religious leaders adding to God's laws, making it hard for people to obey God. Never with His followers or the lost.
When you are leading people, remember always to stay humble and gentle. Don't try to control or manipulate people; instead, let them know that you care about them and want the best for them. Be willing to listen to their ideas and suggestions, and be patient with them. People who respond with love and compassion will be celebrated as great leaders.
2. Always put others before yourself.
One of the essential principles of leadership is to always put others before yourself. Jesus was a perfect example of this principle; He always put others first, even to the point of sacrificing His own life. He never acted out of self-interest or tried to benefit Himself at the expense of others.
When you're a leader, it's important to remember that your primary goal should be to help others succeed. Therefore, you should always be willing to help others, even if it means making sacrifices. Never try to take credit for the work that others have done; instead, give them the recognition they deserve. And be willing to share the burden with others; don't try to do everything yourself. When you put others first, they will be more likely to follow your lead.
3. Lead with love and compassion.
Jesus always led with love and compassion, even when people were difficult or challenging to deal with. This type of leadership creates an environment of trust and respect; people are more likely to follow your lead when they feel you care about them. I love the John Maxwell quote: "People don't care how much you know until they first know how much you care." How true. Jesus' leadership and influence always came from His heart of love and compassion.
If you want to lead more like Jesus, start focusing on your heart. Make sure you act from a place of love and compassion, even when things are tough. And remember that it's never too late to change; if you've fallen short in the past, don't be afraid to ask for forgiveness and start fresh.
4. Practice leadership daily.
Another essential part of developing your leadership skills is practicing them. You need to be willing to take risks and try new things. Sometimes you'll fail, but that's okay; it's all part of the learning process. You also need to be willing to listen to others and learn from their experiences.
Whether you're new to a particular leadership position or you've been thinking about a way to get to the place you really want, being a good leader is essential. Everybody can think of at least one "natural" leader in the office, but how do you become a leader if you're not born with those skills?
Let me end with this question: do you have leadership development on your schedule? I don't mean just the occasional leadership conference. I mean, is it a part of your weekly or daily schedule? Do you plan for it? If not, you should prioritize it by getting it on the calendar and letting nothing steal that time.
As a Pastor or church leader, you may feel too busy to schedule a time to develop and grow in your leadership. However, if that is where you are in your thinking and scheduling, you probably need to set aside time to do so more than most. The more time you spend developing and growing as a leader, the more time you will have, and the vision of your ministry will move forward at a much greater pace.
Taking the time to develop your leadership skills can radically increase the success you experience in all areas of your life. God has done His part by giving you the gift of leadership. Now let's do your part and develop and hone your leadership skills to achieve the vision and goals God has given you and your ministry. You will enjoy being a ministry leader at a much higher leer and enjoy a more satisfying life. And the people you lead will do the same!