LEADERSHIP IS INFLUENCE 1 Definitions abound as to what makes for a leader. But there is one essential quality of all leaders: They all have followers. If you think you are leading and turn around and no one is following, you are simply going for a walk in the park.
Christs influence is powerfully demonstrated in the fact that ten of his twelve disciples died a martyrs death in proclaiming his message after his resurrection. After Peters denial, Jesus gently restores him, and then influences him to care for his sheep, with the certain knowledge that it will cost him his life. That is influence! Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simondo you truly love me? Yes, Lord, he said, you know that I love you. Jesus said, Feed my lambsI tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, Follow me! (Jn. 21:15-19 selected)
QUESTION: Is your life influencing others toward surrendering to Christs unconditional Lordship and call for sacrificial service?
Leadership is influencing people through the power of example: Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at none other. (Edmund Burke) Observe the influence Pauls example had on the Thessalonians, who in turn multiplied that influence out to others: You became imitators of us and of the Lordso you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia (I Thess. 1:6-10 selected) (See 2 Cor. 11:1; Phlilp. 3:17; 4:9; 2 Thess. 3:7; Tit. 2:7)
Observe Davids powerful example that influenced his band of fighting men to become great warriors in the years after he killed Goliath: Josheb-Basshebethraised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter…Eleazarstood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the swordShammahtook his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victoryAbishairaised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killedBenaiahstruck down two of Moab’s best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. (2 Sam. 23:8-21 Selected)
QUESTION: Is your life serving as a powerful example that influences others toward Christ likeness?
Leadership is influencing people through motivation and persuasion: St. Paul instructed Timothy to utilize numerous means to influence his protges toward spiritual growth: Preach the Word; be prepared [to] correct (literally: admonish, convince, convict, reprove), rebuke (literally: censor, charge) and encourage (literally: beseech, comfort, entreat)–with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Tim. 4:2)
QUESTION: Are you utilizing every means at your disposal to influence people to grow in Christ?
Leadership is influencing people to reach their God-given potential: The pattern for the church in developing believers to reach their full potential in Christ is outlined in Ephesians 4:11-16: The spiritual leaders of the Body of Christ are to equip the laity to do the ministry so that the Body of Christ will be brought to a level of spiritual maturity that reflects the very life of Christ: Attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Careful analysis and application of the Ephesians passage is essential for healthy church growth.
QUESTION: Are you intentionally building Christ into believers lives to the effect that they in turn are equipping others?
1 John Maxwell