photo by Przemyslaw Biel
I was in Sheffield last weekend for the Revolution Youth Conference. This is a Christian conference organised by the youth ministry of Victory Assembly Church. I was invited to do a seminar on the topic “Leadership Principles of Christ”. I will discuss in this blog post, two of the three principles I talked about at the conference. These principles are applicable to all leaders in any field.
(1) Principle of Focus: Jesus’ entire ministry lasted only three and a half years, yet he is arguably the most followed leader in human history. His influence and impact is still felt today, despite his crucifixion thousands of years ago. He was successful because he was extremely focused. He knew he was destined for the cross and every decision he made was in line with getting to the cross. The awareness of his limited time on earth helped him prioritise his time and ignore every possible distraction that could have derailed his mission. The Bible records that after Jesus miraculously fed five thousand people from just 5 fishes and 2 loaves, the people wanted to forcefully make him a king. It was reported that Jesus slipped away because he knew that he could not afford to get distracted. Effective leaders keep their focus on the main goal. Goethe once said that things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least. However, it takes great discipline to ignore distractions and stay focused.
(2) Principle of Empowerment: Jesus realised that he needed a team of committed and faithful men to continue his mission after his death. He knew that he could not do it all by himself. Effective leaders work through others. They accomplish more through others using the multiplier effect. Jesus could have recruited trained men from the Jewish synagogues at the start of his ministry but he went for a ragtag team of disciples compromising of simple fishermen and tax collectors. This is because Jesus knew that the latter would be more responsive to his message than the former. He spent most of his ministry simply training and developing these men who would carry on the torch after his death. It was said that after Jesus’ death, a council of educated Jewish elders marvelled at the knowledge that Jesus’ uneducated disciples displayed in their presence. They believed this display of in-depth knowledge was as a result of Jesus’ tutelage. The early church would be built on these men’s shoulders because Jesus was a good judge of talent and character.