Jesus teaches us many things and one of the best things he teaches is leadership. Today our topic is leaders empower others.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
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Watch the video of this teaching at https://www.celllifechurch.tv/leaders-empower-others/ or on our YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/0Tr79H6a7cQ
There is so much we learn from Jesus as we study his teachings and follow his example. Jesus is the ultimate leader and we can learn much from the way he interacted with others, taught, and corrected. The leadership lessons we learn from Jesus apply to our lives in the church, in the workplace, in school, and at home.
Today we are going to discuss one of Jesus’ greatest leadership lessons, leaders empower others.
There is an old saying that says, “If you want something done right do it yourself.” While sometimes easier, this rarely works out the way we want it to. The person who ascribes to this thought will quickly get tired and will not be able to accomplish everything they need to. They also are not leading anyone or teaching anyone. They may be robbing someone of the joy of helping.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says:
(9) Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: (10) If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. (11) Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? (12) Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
None of us were meant to go through life alone. In another passage of scripture we will read today you will see that Jesus sent people out to prepare the way for him. When he sent them out he instructed them to go out together in pairs.
Wherever you find yourself leading others, you must understand that leaders must empower others to get a good return on their labors. Specifically, leaders give instruction, celebrate success, and they teach humility.
Leaders Give Instruction
Let’s read Luke 10:1-12:
(1) After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. (2) He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. (3) Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. (4) Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. (5) “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ (6) If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. (7) Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. (8) “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. (9) Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ (10) But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, (11) ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ (12) I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
Jesus had a master plan. He needed to spread the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven and he knew he couldn’t do it alone. He knew others had to be trained and equipped to work alongside him and to prepare the way for him as he moved about Israel.
In the passage we just read we see several things. One of the leadership lessons we learn is that we must let those we are leading know what we need and expect out of them. We also must tell them what the outcome should look like. The danger is to not micro-manage or dictate every single aspect of the task or job.
We read some specific instructions Jesus gave the 70 disciples he sent out, but we also see where he left part of it up to them. He was clear with the instructions that needed to be followed. In a work environment that might be giving specific safety or legal instructions. He was also clear on what they were to do while they traveled on the road.
Jesus also left some of this up to the teams he sent out. Jesus did not tell them which towns or houses to go to. He left that up to the teams going out ahead of him. They were able to put the lessons they had learned from following and watching him into practice.
We as leaders need to know what needs to be instructed and what can be left up to the individual or team we are leading. We should not just leave them to figure things out on their own without any help or guidance. However, we must balance that with letting people imagine solutions and processes and try them out.
This leads us to celebrating our team’s success.
Leaders Celebrate Success
Leaders must celebrate the successes of their teams. We must give credit where credit is due. It is poor leadership to take credit for the hard work your team puts in and take ownership of your team’s successes.
We read about the return of the 70 to Jesus and their report in Luke 10:17-19.
(17) The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” (18) He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. (19) I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
The 70 were excited to return to Jesus and report all the great things they were able to accomplish as they prepared the way for his ministry. Verse 17 says they returned with joy. I am sure Jesus welcomed them back and was full of joy with them.
When the people we are leading accomplish anything, big or small, we should celebrate with them. We must encourage them, even if everything did not go according to plan. Celebrate the successes and the things that didn’t go well. Remember, things that do not go well are learning opportunities for the next time.
Jesus celebrates their success by giving them even more authority and power. We must do the same with the people who look to us. Along with celebrating success and learning from mistakes, we must reward these things with more authority and responsibility to the people who worked hard.
Celebrating successes is great and a real morale boost. Success can go to your head though, so we must also teach humility in success.
Leaders Teach Humility
Too much success is not a bad thing, but it can easily lead to a prideful spirit. Proverbs 16:18 says:
(18) Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Pride has taken down more leaders than anything else. Too much pride can also destroy a team. In all of Jesus’ ministry and teaching, we do not see pride. All credit is given to God. Jesus cautions the returning 70 disciples in Luke 10:20 which says:
(20) However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
It is very dangerous to think that success rests on our own gifts and abilities. Our gifts and abilities come from God through the Holy Spirit. We are merely stewards of these gifts, talents, and abilities. We must not take credit for what God is doing in and through us.
Leaders must be an example of this and help those they are leading understand it too. We are God’s instruments to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this lost and dying world. Everything we accomplish is in and through God.
The best leaders are ones who give instruction where it is needed, celebrate successes, and lead with humility. They praise publicly and correct privately.
Jesus is the best example of a great leader. Whether you are a student leader, a parent, a supervisor at work, or a church leader, following the example Jesus gives us is absolutely necessary. None of us are perfect. No one expects you to be. In humility do your best and don’t expect anyone to be perfect.
In all things, leaders empower others.