This week’s topic centers around how Jesus and the disciples developed themselves and others for leadership, specifically how they held themselves accountable to each other and to the mission they were called to do.
Jesus knew a thing or two about transformation and he wanted people to experience the truth that was found in Him. The disciples knew this and experienced it themselves. During this time that was spent with Jesus, the disciples were developed and were groomed for leadership because they were going to be ones to deliver the Good News about Jesus. They were commissioned by Jesus himself in Matthew 28:16-20 but he knew they couldn’t do this on their own. Jesus promised this to Peter and Andrew when they were first recruited by Jesus in Capernaum near the Sea of Galilee when he made his famous quote, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people” in Matthew 4:19. There is emphasis seen here about going out in two’s, which you continue to see throughout the New Testament. Having two is stronger than one, yes. In Matthew 18:19-20, Jesus tells the disciples “If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers,I am there among them”. What is so important about two’s? Accountability. Through accountability brings growth,development and forward traction. How did Jesus, Paul, James, and John develop themselves as leaders? By being accountable to each other, those they were teaching and leading, and to Jesus himself. Jesus was just as accountable, if not more to them because he was leaving them and had to deliver them to be the example of Him after he left.
“Jesus has been called the greatest leader of all time, but his leadership strategy went against conventional wisdom. You don’t give to get. You give because it’s the right thing to do” (Maxwell, 2006). Jesus focused his lessons on the heart because he knew it affected everything within a person and he focused his teaching on things that mattered, (Proverbs 4:23). Scripture tells us that His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). The only way we’ll bring the two together is by spending more time in His presence; by doing so we’ll begin to think more like God thinks. This transformation can be seen in the way the disciples and those that studied under Jesus, Paul, James and John all were transformed and developed into the leaders they became.
[Foreword]. (2006). In J. C. Maxwell (Author), Christian reflections on the leadership challenge. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass