God is raising up men and women who will lay their lives down as examples to the flock.
1 Peter 5: 4 (TPT) says, “Don’t be controlling tyrants but lead others by your beautiful examples to the flock. And when the Shepherd-King appears, you will win the victor’s crown of glory that never fades away.”
Nobody is going to top the servant leadership model of Jesus. I don’t care what Fortune 500 company you’ve gone to, what training sessions you’ve taken, or TED Talks you’ve listened to. There is a model of leadership that is not of this world. It is the kingdom. The world builds empires, but believers must build kingdom, and the kingdom falls under the leadership of one.
His name is Jesus, and I think we’d all be in agreement that he’s the greatest leader to ever walk the earth. There’s never been a leader like Jesus Christ. Think about it.
One and a half billion people on earth today profess to be following Jesus Christ. That’s more than you have on Facebook. That’s more than any of your favorite actors or actresses or favorite person on earth. More than any artist or singer or musician. One and a half billion followers on Jesusbook.
One and a half billion distinguishes him as the world’s greatest leader. But, more than that, it’s the impact he has made on lives 2,000 years after his death, and we are still being immersed in his love, care, and shepherding of our lives. The earth is being blessed many times over every single day because Jesus Christ walked the earth and because Jesus Christ now reigns in heaven.
The universe revolves around the leadership of a lamb, a wounded lamb. It’s vulnerable. But the example and the model, the leadership pattern that he sets before us, that now governs the entire universe, is a lamb. Yes, we know about the lion of Judah, but it’s the lamb that holds the scroll. It’s the lamb that opens the scroll, and it’s the lamb that governs the universe.
The church, the body of Christ, is desperate for a new model of leadership. I’ve been in the kingdom for almost fifty-two years. My wife and I both have seen all kinds of different leadership models. But the one model that is going to characterize these last days is the Jesus style of leadership. At its worst state, church leadership today is archaic and at times fossilized. It’s autocratic, built on personality, and at times on selfish ambition. Management techniques of the world have often replaced the sensitivity and tenderness of the Holy Spirit.
At its worst state, that could describe many of the churches on earth today. And the Lord is so committed to shepherding his flock that he’s going to raise up shepherds after his own heart. Shepherds that will empower and release, not insist that people stay in our buildings, under our covering, under our leadership, under our mantle, under our authority, but shepherds that see them as the precious flock of Jesus Christ who must be empowered.
My wife and I saw a church grow from around 50 people to roughly 3,000 or more in New England, where churches don’t often grow to that size. Pastors would ask me, “How did you do that? How do you grow a church like that? What’s the secret?”
I told them to empower everybody. Let them all go start ministries. Tell them all they are the ministers. Empower your people. “Oh,” they said, “I’d have so many messes. I’d have to put out so many fires.”
I said, “That’ll train you, won’t it?” It will help you equip yourself into a wise, godly man or woman. But I’m convinced that we are stifling, limiting, and cutting off portions of the body of Christ, telling them that they’re not ready, not prepared, have to be more seasoned, have to be under our covering, have to get credentials, have to get a title.
These are all the systems of the world. Jesus did none of that, my friend. Jesus did not lead that way. Do you know he sent out 70 knuckleheads before they had the Holy Spirit? They hadn’t been with him for more than one year, likely only a few months, and he sent them out. He told them to go cast out devils, preach the gospel, heal the sick. And they all came back cocky and arrogant. And look what we did. Demons obeyed us, and indeed they won great mighty victories for the kingdom. But Jesus said to not value your life in ministry.
Let your identity be that your name is written in the lamb’s book of life.