Leadership Lessons: “The Upper Room or the Boardroom?”


“Mase, you need to embrace your inner-bastard!” -someone once told me regarding leadership (forgive the language!).

It was meant kindly, the sentiment was that in leadership sometimes you need a mean edge. Yet something within this didn’t sit right with me, I can’t imagine Jesus doing this, or encouraging anyone else too either?

I have long said that I worry too much that often Church leadership looks more like Alan Sugar in his boardroom, that Jesus washing feet in the upper room.

I did a course where the strap-line was “to be led more by Jesus, lead more like Jesus and lead more to Jesus”, something that most of us subscribe too, yet do we have an accurate idea of what Jesus’ leadership style looked like?

Remember the ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ bracelets which said “WWJD? Remember that flipping our and throwing chairs and tables around is an option!” -Sometimes we are called to protest and to challenge the status quo!

Or on the opposite image we get is of Jesus stem from films and paintings where Jesus hangs around looking ethereal and otherworldly and the Victorian Phrase “Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild” comes into place.

Jesus was the greatest and most loyal follower this world has ever known, he said once that “I only do what I see my Father doing”.

Jesus was “led by his Father, Jesus led like his Father and led people too his Father”.

Jesus once said: “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” -When involved in any kind of ‘ministry’ to me the ideal is to be invisible, getting out of the way of people meeting with God, God healed me rather than “XXX prayed for me and I was healed”, or ‘God really spoke to me’ rather than “YYY did a fab sermon” or ‘I really met God in worship’ rather than “ZZZ  is such a great musician”… The highest call is that God can be seen through us.

As ultimately it is not about us, but by his grace, he chooses to work through us.

If you live like Jesus, you will be a leader for him… As in this world people are lost, confused and to quote Jesus “like sheep without a shepherd” and looking out and yearning for a better a better way to live, and better people to follow.

We maybe leaders by nature of Christ in us, but in many ways we are simple “beggars telling other beggars where to buy bread”.

Jesus knew his Identity, but didn’t give him an unhealthy ego “Even though he was God, he didn’t consider equality with God something to be exploited, but humbled himself and made himself nothing, taking on the form of a servant and being found in human-likeness”… “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many”.

For Jesus leadership is about serving people in the advance of the Kingdom, lives transformed… “I have come to give recovery of sight to the blind, bind up the broken hearted, freedom for the prisoners and declaring the year of the favor of our God”.

Jesus saw in people what no one else saw, most of his revolution stemmed from the uneducated, broken, marginalized or disenfranchised who Christ raised up.

He bravely challenged both the authorities and those in power as well as his friends, his friends and his foes (much tougher to speak challenging truth to a friend).

Let us think what it means to be a follower of Christ, going where he leads, and live out our lives his way, pointing people to  him…

To lead in world world transformation, we first must be transformed ourselves.

Its a call to radical non conformity. A different way of living.

Lets explore deeply who Jesus was and how he lived and let our lives look mirror his rather than distorted world around us.



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