Leadership Isn’t What You’ve Always Thought

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk from some of the top spiritual leaders of our day. They have been saying we should lead like Jesus. I completely agree of course. I just believe what people think is meant by this simple phrase is that we should be super nice. If we  lead like Jesus we should never be demanding or call people to something that is beyond themselves.

Basically we should lead like we are Mr. Rogers.

In Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John we see Jesus leading, and He is leading nothing like Mr. Rogers. Mark stands out to me when I think about Jesus and His leadership. In this book He is tough and sometimes demanding. Sometimes He comes across as being a rude and reckless leader who challenges His followers to things greater than themselves.

Look at the disciples first mission in Mark 6, Jesus asks His disciples to cast out demons. It’s important to note here that they have never done it before. Think about it, He doesn’t even equip them very well: All He sent them with was a staff. They had no food, money, or anything that might be required for such a journey. It would be like me going up to someone and telling them “I want you to start a campus in a month. I don’t have any money, volunteers, or a building to give you. Good luck.”

You can also look at how the disciples just didn’t get it.  They were always asking stupid questions. Jesus wasn’t really sweet about it like you might expect. Look at Mark 7.  He looks at His disciples and says: “Are you so dull?”

Look at  Mark 1:16-20 where Jesus tells four people to leave their livelihood and follow Him. He calls them to difficult things that cost them a lot.

I’m not saying that Jesus was a jerk. He was anything but a jerk but He was anything but Mr. Rogers. I just believe that Jesus had an understanding of leadership we can all learn from.

True leadership is not motivated by the idea that your job is to make sure everyone is comfortable. Leadership isn’t about being easy enough on the people around that you never ruffle feathers. Leadership definitely is not speaking in generalities never calling people on the real issue at hand. And you can’t effectively lead by never allowing people to ever be put in situations where they don’t have to think on their feet.

In short, don’t lead like Mr. Rogers. Lead like Jesus.