Leading More Like Jesus
“Come and you will see.” In this simple and brief invitation, Jesus unfurls a deeply important leadership principle that we, as leaders seeking to lead like Jesus, need to understand and implement.
Effective leadership requires the ability to see – to not only have vision but even more importantly, to have perspective. What I mean by “perspective” is how we see – the biblical framework that informs and guides how we approach our leadership, challenges we face, people we serve with, and opportunities we encounter.
In the scene where he calls his first disciples and invites them to “come and see,” Jesus exhibits three aspects of “seeing” we need to take note of as leaders:
- To see ourselves as God sees us
- To see others as God sees them
- To see the “ultimate goal” as God has determined it
When Jesus invited Andrew and his friend to “come and see” in response to their question, “Where are you staying?” (see John 1:35-51 for the full narrative), they saw far more than Jesus’ abode. Rather, they encountered the Messiah!
Jesus knew his identity. He saw himself as the Father saw him, as is clearly evident in John 1. Not only does Jesus refer to himself as the Son of Man (v.51), but in his conversation with Andrew, Jesus’ identity as God’s Anointed becomes apparent in Andrew’s exclamation to his brother, Simon: “We’ve found the Messiah!” (v.41).
As leaders, do we see ourselves as God sees us? As outlined and under-girded in Scripture – secure in our own identity as disciples of Jesus, saved by grace, called for his purposes and glory, being increasingly transformed into the image of Christ? To be leaders who lead like Jesus, we first need to see ourselves as God sees us.
Jesus also saw others not only for who they are, but also for what they could become. When meeting Nathanael, Jesus declares, “Behold, an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” (v.47). He recognized Nathanael’s integrity and fidelity. But he also saw potential in Simon Peter in giving him a new name and a new identity as Cephas, “The Rock” (v.42). How do you see your team members or the people in your congregation or the people you’re seeking to reach? Do you see God at work in them? Do you recognize their standing before God and how God wants to use you in their lives? To lead like Jesus, we need to see others the way God sees them.
Finally, Jesus understood the “big picture,” the ultimate objective, the final goal. He announces to his new band of eager followers they would “see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (v. 51). This reference to Jacob’s dream (Gen. 28:12) is as Dr. G.R. Beasley-Murray explains, “the entire gamut of the action of the Son of Man for the Kingdom of God.” In other words, Jesus lays out his entire mission for his new disciples.
As a leader, do you know where you’re headed? Do you have clear vision from God? To be leaders who lead like Jesus, we ultimately need to see God’s vision and calling clearly.
Jesus invited his first disciples to “come and see.” He’s inviting us to do the same so that we would lead more like him. Let’s commit to leading and seeing like Jesus!
- How can you foster seeing more like Jesus based on this brief study of John 1:35-51?
- What is one way you can deepen your understanding today of how God sees you?
- If you’ve never done so, write out your personal vision statement. Is it clear? Would others clearly understand it and rally to help you fulfill it?
Dr. Rick Franklin (Arrow Class 7) is deeply passionate about developing Christian leaders so that they are as effective as possible in making the greatest impact on the greatest number of people to help fulfill the Great Commission. Rick has a long track-record of developing leaders in the U.S., Europe, Canada and now across North America serving as the Vice President of Arrow Leadership Ministries.