Let’s take a look at Jesus, the almighty God, our Savior and Creator and upholder of all things. Was He a leader? I’m asking a serious question. I am troubled by the possibility that Jesus would not be a leader in the Western Church today. Think with me here. What did Jesus do that has any resemblance to what our pastors and staffs do today? Again, seriously: What did Jesus actually do? He taught. He healed sick people and delivered those who were oppressed. He confronted the legalistic religious leadership of His day. He performed miracles. He died for our sins and rose to life. The only similarity between what He did and what we do is teaching, unless you’re one of those in the minority who operate in the gifts of the Spirit.

How did Jesus organize His followers? As far as we can tell, there was almost no organization. He led and sent out seventy men, by twos (some manuscripts say seventy-two), and he ministered to twelve of them closely and three, intimately. How did He organize the seventy and the twelve? He told them, besides some instructions on what to take and what not take with them in certain instances, to “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you’” (Luke 10:9; 9:1-6). Can you imagine giving such a dearth of instruction to a group that we would send out today?

What did Jesus teach His disciples about leadership? We know the answer. He taught them to lead by being servants, by acting as if they were the youngest, not the oldest. “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves” (Luke 22:25-26).