Ministry and Leadership the Jesus Way
In my own effort to follow in the footsteps of Jesus as ministry leader, I spent some time studying Luke (and Acts) to find some of the key principles that made Jesus the most effective leader in the history of the world. Though I am sure that others can be added to this list, here is what I came up with. Hopefully it is helpful to anyone who leads Christian ministry and wants to do it the way Jesus did.
(Luke 2:40 ESV) And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.
Jesus learned and asked questions
(Luke 2:46-47 ESV) After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit
(Luke 4:1-2 ESV) And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.
Jesus read and memorized Scripture
(Luke 4:3-4 ESV) The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’”
Jesus had a clear sense of his calling
(Luke 4:42-44 ESV) And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Jesus spent personal time with God
(Luke 5:16 ESV) But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Jesus spent time with sinners/non-Christians/outcasts
(Luke 5:29 ESV) And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them.
Jesus prayed over major decisions, then followed through
(Luke 6:12-13 ESV) In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:
Jesus visited with people who disagreed with him
(Luke 7:36 ESV) One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
Jesus encouraged others to share their testimony
(Luke 8:38-39 ESV) The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.
Jesus organized ministry work
(Luke 9:1-2 ESV) And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
Jesus followed up after ministry experiences
(Luke 9:10 ESV) On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida.
Jesus challenged people to have personal faith
(Luke 9:18-20 ESV) Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
Jesus had an inner circle
(Luke 9:28 ESV) Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
Jesus went to work after spending time with God (mountaintop experience)
(Luke 9:37 ESV) On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him.
Jesus taught with object lessons
(Luke 9:47-48 ESV) But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”
Jesus had a determined will to accomplish his mission
(Luke 9:51 ESV) When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
Jesus was hardcore when challenging people
(Luke 9:61-62 ESV) Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Jesus did ministry in pairs/Jesus appointed ministry leaders
(Luke 10:1 ESV) After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go.
Jesus taught people what they wanted to learn
(Luke 11:1 ESV) Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
Jesus wasn’t afraid to say it like it is
(Luke 11:45 ESV) One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.”
Jesus was not seeker-sensitive
(Luke 14:25-27 ESV) Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Jesus does a lot of ministry over food
(Luke 15:1-2 ESV) Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
Jesus did ministry “on the way”
(Luke 17:11-13 ESV) On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
Jesus encouraged people to never give up
(Luke 18:1 ESV) And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
Jesus didn’t follow what others thought he should do; he was a leader
(Luke 18:38-42 ESV) And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.”
Jesus had a heart of compassion
(Luke 19:41 ESV) And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it,
Jesus didn’t leave room for sin
(Luke 19:45-46 ESV) And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”
Jesus prayed for specific people
(Luke 22:31-32 ESV) “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Jesus forgave his enemies
(Luke 23:34 ESV) And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
Jesus’ strategy was ministry in immediate context, then region, then far away
(Acts 1:8 ESV) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”