Thursday, September 9, 2021 10:32 PM

Reproducing Leaders Over-and-Over Again

Thursday, September 9, 2021 10:32 PM
Thursday, September 9, 2021 10:32 PM

by Bill Lawrence, President of Leader Formation International

Matthew 28:18-20 Again and Again

All authority has been to Me in heaven and on earth,

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . .

 

Jesus commands us to be leaders who obey Him by reproducing His kind of leaders over-and-over again. In fact, our lives are all about doing what He tells us to do by using our opportunities to accomplish what He directs us to pursue. So, if you are a business leader or an educator or a politician or a pastor or an athlete or a coach or an artist or a draftsman or a factory worker or a husband or a wife or whatever your role in life is, you are most of all a disciple-maker, His kind of leader. In other words, you give yourself to the Lord to be used by Him to be His instrument to make those you influence His reproducers for Him. This is your constant purpose in all that you are doing with your life. You see, your task in life is to form everyone you influence to be His instrument wherever He puts you. This means it is our task to do what He wants done with His life in us: to make that man or woman we influence His kind of disciple-maker as a result of His life through us.

There will be many growing factors that will mark your life and make the way you relate the same way Jesus related to those He influenced when He was here on earth. That is exactly what He wants to mark us now, as He commanded. Consider the implications of His commands for you as His follower.

Jesus wants His followers to have growing relationships.

Just as He had growing personal relationships with those He called to Himself, so He wants us to have growing relationships with those we call to follow Him with us.  There was intense growth between the initial relationships of Jesus and the twelve, and that is what He wants between us and those we call to follow Him. Even though we do not leave our regular way of life as Jesus and His men did, we will often be together as friends or in meetings and business situations, engaged in ministry opportunities and individual contacts. In all of these we help them grow as disciple-makers.

You help them become more effective as Bible teachers.

You will enable them to become increasingly more useful as Bible teachers by attending their classes if that is what the Lord wants them to do, seeing them teach, evaluating them in appropriate ways, identifying their strengths and pointing out their limitations, helping them understand how they could be more effective, and equipping them to become the kind of communicators God wants them to be. This would be a great encouragement for them.

Prayer, prayer, and more prayer.

As nothing was more important than prayer to Jesus, so nothing can be more important than prayer to you and to the men and women you influence. It’s amazing, isn’t it, that prayer was so important to Jesus and was central in His life. After all, He prayed every time He had an opportunity to pray. When He ate, when He acted, but especially when He was going to walk on water and call His men to follow Him in an intense way, He spent hours praying. And when He knew He was about to die for our sins, He asked His Father if He could avoid death, but He could not. He taught His men to live and die as He lived and died: by prayer. Everything is built around prayer.

Have honest interaction, confrontation, and intense relationships as necessary 

If you consider the kind of relationships Jesus had with His leaders as He formed them, it will be more than evident to you that they became very intense and open. He did not hold back from facing them, from holding them accountable, from being confronted by them, from being questioned by Peter or John or even Judas who betrayed Him. It will be the same with all whom you influence to be the disciples of Jesus and you must strive to make them the kind of leaders Jesus wants to use.

Any leader who forms future leaders according to the biblical principles of His life will produce increasingly effective leaders who will equip even more productive leaders until the body of Christ will do what God created it to do and reach the world with the good news concerning Jesus. What happened in the first three hundred years after the cross will happen today, even in a resistant world, if only leaders will have the heart of Christ, a heart that desires to form leaders who lead this way.

So we must lead as Jesus led if we are to be the kind of disciple makers Jesus was. This is the Christian life and Christian leadership, and nothing else is. The Christian life is misunderstood in our day, as it has been in much of history. It has been taken more as a way of life than the purpose of life.  It is seen as the means of life rather than as the very purpose and end of life. That is not how Jesus saw His life. These other things—fishing, being a carpenter, earning a living, all the other ways of life—were just that: the ways of life. Life for Him was the way He formed His followers and made them the men and women who accomplished His lasting, eternal purpose: becoming His disciples, His ultimate followers, His different makers, those who carried out His purpose, accomplished His purpose, and achieved His aims, demonstrated His rule on earth. This is what we are about.

He is the King of Kings, the Ruler of All, the Lord of Lords, and we are His servants.

For this reason,

He sent us to do what He has done: Form Leaders! 

 

This is leadership.

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