For the next few posts, we’re going to look at an excerpt from David Olsen’s book, Discovering Your Leadership Style. The article is entitled “Lead Like Jesus.”
First, a word about leadership. Some of us are hesitant about calling ourselves “leaders.” There are a number of reasons why this is. To some, leadership is a power-play, where someone just wants to be in charge. Others prefer to see themselves as a guide in the middle of a discussion. Still others see leadership as a responsibility that they do not feel comfortable with, so they sidestep the designation.
Those who participate in our groups look for examples of how to live. When group attendees ask questions, they are participating, but they are also seeking guidance. Make no mistake – if you are in charge of a small group, you are leading!
So what are some ways we can lead like Jesus?
Olsen discusses three core foundations of leadership wisdom – instinct, fruitfulness, and multiplication. Today, let’s briefly look at instinct.
There are different definitions of instinct depending on the discipline being discussed, but for our purposes, Olsen defines instinct as “unconscious thoughts or actions that are conditioned into a person through repetitive behaviors, habits, or experiences.”
Leader instincts are developed over time through experience and wisdom. As we lead, we should constantly self-evaluate – how we handle situations, address topics, love and guide others – anything and everything associated with our leadership. The more often you encounter a scenario and handle them wisely, the more your instinct will develop, and the more you’ll see God work in and through your ministry.
We all ought to be seeking to gain experience and wisdom so that we are more effective. For those new to leading a group, this may involve seeking out those who have been leading longer for tips and advice. Books, seminars, and other resources may be helpful as well. Pray that God will give you insight regarding how you can develop your leader instinct so that you are better equipped to handle whatever situations arise.