I was sitting down with some of my leaders this past week and we were just talking about life, about God, and the work that God is doing through them to reach students. It’s one of my favorite things. As I was sitting down listening to them I started to think, “What makes a likeable and respected leader? Why do people flock around these guys and why does God use them like He is?”
Here is the realization:
They leaked the three things Jesus was about. Humility. Kindness. Grace.
This is why students flocked to these leaders. This is why any leader is respected, followed and leads well, because they are characteristics of Jesus.
Humility – I have never walked out of the presence of a humble leader and thought, “That was a waste of time.” In fact, it is always the opposite, I always walk away feeling refreshed. When someone is prideful, you get a bad taste in your mouth. When someone who leads with humility, who doesn’t grasp power, who listens intently and knows when they are wrong and can admit it to help others, people will flock to it. Granted, Jesus lived a perfect life, but He was the epitome of humility. Just read Philippians 2. I believe this is why Jesus was a fantastic leader and this is why some of your leaders are fantastic as well.
Kindness – Some people don’t seem to have it. Jesus had it. In every encounter he had with people (except the Pharisees) as he was doing ministry, he treated them well. He asked them questions. He healed people. He had compassion on them. He interacted with kindness. The leaders who show genuine kindness to your students are the ones you need to praise and lift up and make examples of because this is why students flock to them. This is why they are great leaders.
Grace – I always tell our leaders, when a student opens up to you we need to be sure we watch our reactions to whatever it is they are telling us. We need to respond with grace. The leaders who are killing it during our midweek services are the ones who show students the most grace but are correcting in doing so. Students mess up. We mess up. Mature leaders realize the grace we have been given and proof their realization when they can show and express grace to the students they interact with. Jesus was the master at this. This is why He is such a great leader.
These are characteristics all good leaders have. I have to ask the question, “Do I show these things?” I want to be like Jesus. I want to lead like Him. These are the things He did and showed us and if you look at your own great leaders (and hopefully in yourself) you will see these 3 characteristics.