the last four months we discussed nine leadership lessons from Jesus and
three from John the Baptist. This week we will see three lessons from
the Apostle John.
Leaders must be trustworthy. John, who may
have been the youngest disciple, often acted rashly, recklessly, and
aggressively. For example, once he wanted to call down fire from heaven
to destroy the Samaritans who refused to welcome Jesus; he was aptly
called a “son of thunder (Mark 9:38-41). But by the time of the
crucifixion he had matured to become the most trusted disciple, so much
so that Jesus commended His mother’s to John’s care (John 19:26-27).
Someone wrote, “Without trust, words become the hollow
sound of a wooden gong. With trust, words become life itself.”
If leaders are to succeed they must be trustworthy.
Leaders are motivated by love. John is
known as the apostle of love and his described as the apostle Christ
loved (John 19:26; 21:7). And while the theme of love permeates his
writings, his first epistle commands us to walk in love. I have both led
and observed leaders for decades and I confidently conclude that no one
is a successful leader who does not feel love and commitment to both the
people he/she leads and to the organization or group. Quite simply, we
work well with those we love and don’t give up when the going gets
tough. On the other hand, we attempt to remove ourselves from the
presence of those to whom we lack the commitment of love. If you don’t
love, don’t try to lead. If you are not in love with your people and
the task, try it and see the difference.
Leaders persevere. The impetuous young John
learned, matured, and finally wrote his gospel, his three epistles and
the book of Revelation when he was a very old man. I know in my own
leadership journey, perseverance has been the reason for my successes.
I often succeeded where smarter, better prepared, more savvy leaders
failed. I simply refused to quit. The Apostle John has become an even
more salient example for me than before. He was more than a decade
older than I know am when he wrote some of his greatest things. He
exemplifies the phrase, “quitters never win and winners never quit.”