the last three months we examined nine leadership lessons from Jesus.
This month we look at all four gospels to find three lessons from John
Leaders must be willing to step aside when a
better qualified leader appears. John the Baptist and Jesus were
cousins. So, John knew of Jesus, though they may seldom if ever been
together; they did not live near one another. Many thought John was the
Messiah, John knew he was not. He knew he was preparing the way. John
the apostle records the Baptizer’s predictive statement that someone was
coming who had a higher rank, one who existed before him (John 3:15). Of
course we know John was born before Jesus, so John’s statement gives
proof to the fact that John knew Jesus was not simply human. Later John
the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” When leaders
do not step aside and let others take leadership, the mission suffers.
John stepped aside.
Leaders promote change when old ways are not
productive. John the Baptist said outdated ways must change,
“Indeed the axe is …at the root…if not fruitful, cut and burn them.”
(Luke 3:9) Leaders often resist needed change and the organization
fails. Many once mighty companies no longer exist. Why do leaders
resist change? Perhaps it seems too difficult; or they fear failure, or
don’t want to leave their comfort zone.” These may seem like good
reasons, but leaders must be able to lead change. Several years ago I
published an article on “How to Implement Change in Your Organization.”
[BLAKE—NEED LINK] The things I said then are still true. Leaders must
be able to lead change..
Leaders should know their own mission.
Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1, Matthew 1:3 and Mark 1:2-3 state the mission
of John the Baptist. His mission was to “prepare the way of the Lord.”
John never lost sight of his mission. Quite simply, the mission
connects seeing and doing (vision and action). When a leader or an
organization does not understand the mission and stay true to it, both
the leader and the organization is doomed to fail. John never lost
sight of his mission
John the Baptist paved the way for Jesus by
demonstrating willingness to step aside, promoting needed change, and
staying true to his mission. Last month we talked about identifying,
mentoring others, and planning for the future. How are you doing?