As we think about and discuss leadership, we do well to take a few lessons from the leadership of Jesus. Over the next few weeks, I will be looking at various episodes in the ministry of Jesus Christ that we can learn from as leaders.
Following the Baptism of Christ and the temptation of Christ in the wilderness, Jesus breaks onto the scene to begin His ministry with these words in Mark 1:14-15:
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe the good news.”
Before Jesus does anything else, He lays out His purpose, His intent, and the goal for His ministry. He has come to fulfill the prophetic Word, usher in the Kingdom of God, and draw people to repentance and belief. In short, the lesson we can learn from this passage is:
A leader has vision.
Jesus knew where He was going. The day would come when Jesus would die on a cross for the forgiveness of sins. However, if that sacrifice was to be effective, Jesus had to lead a group of misfits (disciples) and others along the way. He had to convince them that He was the Savior they had been waiting for. He had to, for lack of a better term, “sell” them on His vision.
Jesus was able to convince the disciples to “buy into” the vision that He had by having a clear and articulated vision. Throughout the Gospels, it is clear that Jesus had a purpose and a goal in mind, and nothing was going to deter Him from that.
A parishioner at Mt Etna, in response to a sermon on lust (where I talked about the eyes being the gateway to the soul), told me to attempt to walk on a treadmill and look to the side at the same time. I have not tried this yet…but I have been told it is extremely difficult because your eyes are telling you that you are not moving, and it begins to influence the rest of your body.
As leaders, we do well to be ever aware of our surroundings (what is to our side) but we must remain focused on the vision ahead of us. Without that focus forward, we will begin to get distracted from the vision and…well…fall off the treadmill. And falling off the treadmill doesn’t accomplish much.
Jesus began His ministry by establishing a vision. A vision of repentance and belief in the Good News…and He championed that cause all the way to the cross…and beyond.