Over the past five years, God has laid discipleship and leadership heavy on my heart. My husband and I have been blessed by having the opportunity to lead the group leaders for the young adult ministry at our church. With this opportunity comes great responsibility. In this role, it is our responsibility to ensure that our leaders learn what it truly means to be a follower of Christ. I knew the best thing we could do would be to imitate Jesus with how we were leading others.
“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31-33
These verses basically say that all disciples of Christ are to be imitators of Him and that we have the opportunity to glorify God with every aspect of our lives. By being a leader, we also get the chance to show and teach others how to imitate Christ. What a great opportunity!
Below are 3 ways to be a great leader and imitation of Christ:
#1. Spend quality time with God.
- Be intentional, don’t just read a chapter and check it off your list.
- Sit and listen to God; praying is a 2-way conversation.
In the story where Jesus feeds the 4000, we find this scripture:
“I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” – Mark 8:2-3
The people in this story went 3 days without eating to be in the presence of Jesus. Spending time with God can be a struggle sometimes, especially the more involved you get. The more responsibility, the less time you have. As leaders, we will have people coming up and asking questions. We need to make sure that we are always giving Godly wisdom and not human wisdom. We must make sure we are carving out time for God. What sacrifices are you making to spend more time with God? It doesn’t have to be anything big. If you like playing sports or watching TV, watch or play a little less than you do now and spend that time with God.
#2. Be aware of your influence
We need to pay attention to who is influencing us and to whom we are influencing.
We know when we are serving that we will influence people, but what about in our free time when we are doing whatever it may be? Are you paying attention to what people are taking from you? If you are convicted about doing or saying something in front of people, you shouldn’t do or say that you are alone or with a different crowd.
A good question to ask yourself about friends is this; “Do I want to be more like this person?” It is safe to say that who you hang out with the most is who you will become more like. Do you’re closest friends build you up and encourage you? Do they bring you closer to God? If not you should probably start looking for some new friends. Each of us should have a core group of friends to count on and expect to keep us accountable.
Related Post: 3 i’s of Leadership
#3. Walk-in integrity
God can work with anyone no matter what you have done, but you need to have a sincere heart and be authentic. One of the best ways to influence people is by your authentic actions, not by your words. We should wear our thankfulness and joyfulness on our sleeves. I mean by this that no matter what our situation, maybe we should still be joyful and thankful for what we do have.
I used to work in a corporate environment as a manager, I wasn’t allowed to speak about Jesus, but I was able to show people who He is! The other managers were pretty harsh and yelled at people when they messed up, but by being the one manager who didn’t yell or cuss at someone, I was able to show just a bit of Jesus’ love. Most of the employees knew something was different about me just by interacting with me daily.
We have opportunities all day long to show the love of Jesus even if we can’t speak about him!
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 11:1
I encourage you to really think and pray about ways to imitate Jesus a little better and how you can help teach and show others how to imitate Him.