A Can’t Miss Leadership Lesson from Jesus

Study Jesus’ life and you will see that he sets the example for leaders everywhere. Jesus shows us that leadership is more than having influence, it is more than getting others to do something. Leadership, for Jesus, is much bigger than that. 

A Can't Miss Leadership Lesson From Jesus

There are many things we can learn in the area of leadership by following Jesus in the way he was a leader, but I would like to share with you a can’t miss leadership lesson from Jesus. 

Depending on your personality type, you may enjoy having a lot of friends or a few friends. Typically if you enjoy having a lot of friends, your relationships aren’t as deep as the person who enjoys just having a few friends. As a leader, you must be aware of your tendencies in this area because it directly relates to this leadership lesson from Jesus. 

A Can’t Miss Leadership Lesson from Jesus

Jesus had 3 relational contexts in which he exemplified leadership. 

Jesus spent time with the crowds, the 12, and the 3. 

Understanding that Jesus had more than just 12 people following him on a consistent basis, we will lump the extra people in with the crowds.

Here’s the lesson: minister to the many, invest in a few. 

Jesus shows leaders everywhere that in order to make a great impact as a leader, you need to be investing in a few people even though you may lead many others. Jesus preached to the many, yet he traveled and did life with the 12. When Jesus had something big going on he would bring Peter, James, and John with him. They were in the inner circle of the inner circle.

They had more access to Jesus than the other 9. 

Here’s a question: how many people have complete access to you?

You may find that no one has complete access to you. That’s dangerous. Change it right away.

You may find that the many have complete access to you. That’s dangerous as well. You can’t be best friends, primary mentor, etc… to loads of people. It’s not healthy. In fact, science says that you can really only have between 6-12 close friends

What This Doesn’t Mean

In no way am I saying that you should turn down a potential friendship or mentorship opportunity. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t minister to as many people as you possibly can. No. In fact by adopting this leadership lesson I believe that you’ll be a better balanced leader. The crowd may get you accolades, but the 12 and the 3 will leave you a legacy.

The Questions

In response to this leadership lesson from Jesus, that you should minister to the many and invest in a few, you have to ask yourself a few questions.

Who is my crowd?

Who are my 12? 

Who are my 3?

If you ask yourself these questions, you need to seriously consider your answers. As a leader, I would say, you need to have these 3 relational contexts in your life. If you don’t, you need to make some changes. 

How Much Time Should I Spend With Each Group?

This could be one of the most important questions we could ask in the context of leadership. Here’s my attempt to make some sense of it.

Crowd Timing

In order to figure this out, you must determine how engaged your crowd is. What I mean by this is how often do you hear from them? If they are more engaged, more time will be spent with this area. The opposite is true as well.

12 Timing

It is vitally important to spend a lot of time with this group. They are the individuals who you do life with. They are the individuals who you are constantly investing in. 

3 Timing

With this group I don’t believe that more quantity automatically means more impact. I believe that, with this group, they should get more quality time from you. Focused time is essential with this group. These are the people you are investing in the most. Be intentional with all of the groups, but especially this group. 

Next Steps

Examine your relational contexts.

Make changes where needed.

Start ministering.

Start investing.

Are You Modeling Jesus’ Example in Your Leadership?

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Written by Brandon Kelley

Brandon Kelley is the co-founder of Rookie Preacher and the author of Preaching Sticky Sermons and Crucified to Life. He serves as the Lead Pastor of First Church of Christ in Bluffton, IN. He also writes at BrandonKelley.org. You can follow him @BrandonKelley_. Watch his sermons here.


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