Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead, He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And, when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death … even to death on a cross. – Philippians 2:5-8
It’s difficult for us to comprehend. God, the Author and Creator of the universe, took on flesh and stepped into our atmosphere.
Jesus was a man, but He was still God. He didn’t lose His power, but He willingly chose to not use certain aspects of His power while on earth.
The Unlimited One took on limits. The “I AM” obediently said “I will.” The Creator willingly allowed Himself to be bound by His creation. It is hard to understand this concept. God came, emptied Himself, and died … for you.
As you read through the Gospels and see the leadership that Jesus did during His ministry, there are several important leadership concepts we as church leaders today can learn.
Here are seven leadership truths I’ve learned from Jesus:
1. He Spent Time With Messy People.
Jesus never spent a lot of time with religious people. He did, however, spend a lot of time with prostitutes, thieves, beggars, lepers and other social outcasts. Jesus spent more time in dirt-floor living rooms than stained-glass ballrooms. If we want to lead like Jesus, then we have to spend time with people that are messy. I mean, aren’t we all messy in one way or another? They are the ones Jesus spent most of His time with. They are the ones Jesus said He came for (Luke 5:32).
2. He Was Only in One Place at a Time.
Sometimes in ministry, we are guilty of trying to do it all. We want to be at every meeting, every practice, every event … but even Jesus could only be in one place at a time. Let’s be honest, we can’t be everywhere at once. Trust in God’s Sovereignty, and concentrate on what He has placed in front of you for the moment. Trying to be everywhere at once only lowers efficiency and puts you on the fast-track to burn out.
3. He Lived in Community.
God created community. He created us as humans to live life together. Jesus was almost always surrounded by people. Look at the relationship Jesus had with the 12 Apostles. Jesus spent time with them. They were on mission with each other 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In your ministry, you have to decide if you’re trying to impress people, or impact people. People can be impressed from a distance, but that doesn’t matter at all. To impact people, you have to live in community, and “do life together” with them.