Jesus was the most extraordinary leader who ever lived. His brief life, and even briefer ministry, did more to change the world than any other human being in history. What were some of the guiding principles that made His life and leadership so extraordinary?
Jesus lived a life of extraordinary focus. He kept the main thing the main thing. As the demands on his life intensified, Jesus simplified. He was crystal clear on why he was here. He knew what he came to do and he refused to compromise his mission. You cannot live a life of impact without clarity. Every great leader in the Bible had a CLEAR MISSION:
- Noah – Build That Boat
- Moses – Free the People
- Joshua – Possess the Land
- David – Unite the Kingdom
- Solomon – Build the Temple
- Nehemiah – Rebuild the Wall
Without a CLEAR FOCUS we just produce a lot of ACTIVITY with very little PRODUCTIVITY.
Once you know your FOCUS it can be used as your FILTER. I’ve discovered that the greatest enemy of focus is fear. Our own insecurity makes us vulnerable to voices. There are three voices vying for your attention. External voices of people telling you what you could do. Internal voices in our head telling us what we”should do.” And the still small voice of God telling us what we must do. If you try to obey every voice you’ll die of exhaustion. Extraordinary leaders have learned to listen to the Master’s voice and say, “No” to the others.
Focus tells me what to do. Filter tells me what not to do. Function tells me how to do it. If Jesus had only wanted to secure our salvation, his ministry could have been done in a week. But Jesus’ plan went way beyond his final week. He had a long term goal and an intentional strategy. The Bible says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5, NLT) Most people are LONG on VISION and short on STRATEGY. They have a big dream but no design. A goal without a strategy is just a WISH. Extraordinary leaders plan their work and work their plan.
Because Jesus was perfect he needed no one’s feedback except the Father. Newsflash…you’re not Jesus and neither am I! I am convinced that without the discipline of feedback and the humility of listening, we will never go from good to great. In my city I have watched several church plants come and go over the last 14 years. Without exception every one of them that failed did so because of leadership failure and every one of those leader failures boiled down to two problems: a failure to get advice or a failure to follow it.
The Bible says, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” (Proverbs 15:22, NLT) I’m convinced that what prevents most ordinary leaders from becoming extraordinary, is that they are either too proud or too insecure to learn from others.
This is the hardest one of all. Although I do not believe in ESP or psychic powers, I am convinced there is such a thing as intuition. God told Job, “Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind?” (Job 38:36, NLT) Great leaders have learned to “go with their gut” to keep out of a rut!
What prevents us from following our gut? Two things:
- BUSYNESS– We’re so busy working in the ministry that we never take time to work on the ministry. Busyness will distract you from listening to your gut. It takes rest and rhythm to reflect. Leaders that fail to get away often fall away.
- FEAR – Sometimes we know what our gut is telling us but we’re scared to pull the trigger. Often this relates to making a critical personnel decision. We need to reassign or remove someone and we’re dreading it. Yet no one has the right to hold the ministry hostage. When we fail to follow our gut we’re saying people are more important than the purposes.
Extraordinary leaders never settle for ordinary results. During Jesus’ time on earth he impacted thousands, but he had a vision for billions, and he was willing to pay the price to see it through. The Bible says we are saved by faith (Eph 2:8-9), please God through faith (Heb 11:6), and God will only act according to our faith(Mt 9:29). So the question is, “What are you believing God for right now?”
You have to SEE the future before you can change it. When Satan looked down on earth he said it was HOPELESS. When Jesus looked down he said they’re HELPLESS. Satan said, “Why even try?” Jesus said, “I’d rather DIE than not TRY!”
Your ministry starts DYING the moment you stop TRYING. Let the size of your GOD determine the size of your GOAL.
Extraordinary leaders are laser focused, task filtered, function with a strategic plan, seek continuous feedback, listen to their feelings and live by audacious faith!
Which principle do you need to work on?
Here’s a 30 minute video teaching of this content: