Summary: This message looks at three main things a good leader does.
“Understanding What Leaders Do”
Journalist Brock Brewer wrote that if Martian spacemen were to descend to our planet and demand, “Take me to your leader,” the earthlings would not know where to direct them. This confusion about leadership not only exists in the world but in the church as well. A quick survey of history helps us see a very important fact, every great movement in history started with great leaders. In fact if the church is going to flourish, there must be Godly leaders to faithfully shepherd the flock. The church needs dedicated, educated and motivated leadership that are consistently stepping out on faith and making things happen. This is of the upmost importance because no church will be stronger than its leaders. The question is, “How do we recognize good leaders?” A good leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. They know others and know exactly what motivates them. Today we are going to take the next logical step in our journey to unravel the mystery of effective leadership. Let’s spend some time looking at the three main things that leaders do.
I. Leaders shepherd God’s flock.
A. The lives of leaders need to be invested in their sheep.
1. At times Jesus taught thousands of people but He made an incredible investment in a small group of twelve men.
2. Jesus modeled the fact that discipleship was interpersonal. Discipleship best happens in the midst of intimate relationships.
3. They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. (Mark 9:30-31a—NIV)
4. Jesus took the time to privately teach His disciples and prepare them to carry out the ministry when He returned to Heaven.
5. Jesus believed that the investment in that small group of people was essential to accomplishing His mission and He was right. Those twelve men took the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
B. The New Testament church understood that community was an essential part of shepherding.
1. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:46-47—NIV)
2. We must understand that people are not looking for a friendly church, they are looking for friends. People desire others to share life with.
3. The New Testament church was not a church that had small groups on the side; they were a church made up of small groups.
4. The people shared life together on a daily basis, their relationships and worship went beyond the four walls of the worship center.
5. Building relationships through small groups is not only essential for growing healthy relationships it is Biblical.
C. Leaders must learn to shepherd in our fast paced world.
1. The fast pace lives we live presents some unique challenges for the 21st century shepherd.
2. It is really easy to allow our technology saturated culture to swallow up God’s plan for the church.
3. The impersonality of our advanced modern technology definitely presents some huge downsides, but technology can be an effective rod and staff in the hands of a loving shepherd who uses it intentionally.
4. Being a shepherd in our fast paced, technologically advanced culture is not easy, but if we are creative and thoughtful it can be done and done quite effectively.
II. Leaders grow people through mentoring.
A. Mentors model behavior, values and faith through sharing their lives with others.
1. In both the Latin and Greek languages, the term mentor literally came to mean advisor or wise man.
2. Mentoring involves all of life for individuals and for communities.
3. When people are fortunate enough to be surrounded by healthy, functional, caring people, we tend to become like them.
4. Because of the way human beings are wired, mentors are essential for healthy human development.
5. God has written the mentor concept into human nature, and that is why the concept is written into the Bible.
B. The leadership styles of Jesus and Paul both modeled the idea of mentoring.
1. Jesus’ style of leadership was completely opposite from the leadership styles of the world which were aggressive, competitive and controlling.
2. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28—NIV)