Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28v18-20
As the church, we are to obey this command of Jesus. In order to do this, all Christian Disciples we are to develop leadership, for all Christian Disciples are leaders in some form or shape. The five attributes all Christian Disciples should develop are: Character, Conviction, Creativity, Stewardship and Shepherdship.
We start with the Christian Disciple developing Character, for without developing character; the Christian Disciple can quite simply be a better rip-off artist. If the Christian Disciple is not developing character, it is because they have not determined what they want to develop. In the developmental process the first task is to determine what the Christian Disciple wants to develop, then to develop what has been determined. It is impossible to develop what has never been determined
These characteristics measure how much the Spirit of God has been free to develop the character of a Christian Disciple. It also shows what it is being sought in the progressive development in the Christian Disciple
1. Persistence & Endurance – Persistence & endurance is developing staying power, to hold courageously under fire. This is a key to leadership – bulldog tenacity. Things like criticism, circumstances, opposition & problems stop a leader. The Christian Disciple who hangs in through these things is the one who accomplishes their objectives. The problem in Christian leadership is that we sometimes think it is a sprint race, when in fact it is a marathon, where a second wind of the long hard grind is necessary. What is it that stops you? The size of a person is determined by what it takes to stop him or her. Winners are people who have formed the habit of doing things that failures hate to do.
2. Resistance – This is not resistance to ideas but resistance to opposition. Criticism is the occupational hazard for leaders (1 Peter 2v20-24). Leadership is the process of developing a thick skin and a thin heart. Discouragement is cancer of the Spirit.
3. Servanthood -Matthew 20v26-28 “Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave.” The first shall be last and the last shall be first. Priority should be given to serve.
4. Training – Jesus often sent people home,, so kicking people out of the nest at the right time is good Disciple making.
5. Consistent Example – Modelling is the greatest unconscious form of learning what we know. As Paul writes in Philippians 3v17 – 4v9 “Follow me as I follow Christ”. Whether we say it or not, people are following us, but are we following Christ closely? Those you are leading do not do what you tell them to do, but follow what you do.
6. Self-mastery – If you only had 6 months left to live, what would you do? Keep on doing what I am already doing, if not you had better change what you are doing. We need to be unencumbered by the things that weigh us down. This is the danger of an affluent society. (Hebrews 12:1-2) “Travel light”. This is where decision-making comes to the fore, deciding what is good and evil. The real decision is between that which is good, that which is better and which is better or best. Choose the best!!
7. Virile Private Life – Two things to keep in balance are involvement & isolation. You cannot do enough for others if you are constantly in the company of others. You also need time alone but not as a complete hermit!
8. Confidence – The number one problem in our culture today, is a lack of confidence. Paul said in Philippians 4v13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. To the Christian Disciple, self-confidence is Christ-confidence. The Christian Disciple says to them selves “I can’t lose. I can only make mistakes”. Confidence is spawned by the ability to say no. The New Testament is the doctrine of moderation in all things. You don’t have to do everything you are capable of achieving.
9. Teachability – A Christian Disciple who is teachable is a person who has an unlimited ceiling of being taught. The Christian Disciple must be willing to be taught by other people, even if they themselves are in a teaching role!
10. Positive Attitude – A danger in becoming negative, is that a root of bitterness sets up. The greatest therapy is that of thanksgiving & prayer. God says you can do it. Satan says you can’t do it.
11. Your capacity to believe God – What is there in your life that you are trusting God for that He alone can do (2 Corinthians 4v7)? God selects each Christian Disciple in order that in all things Jesus would have the supremacy and glory (Colossians 1v18)!
12. Humility – Jesus is our example as Paul exhorts us in Philippians 2v1-3 “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” If Jesus could be humble in that He came to earth as a member of His own creation, then as Christian Disciples and leaders, we should be clothed in humility.
For more to think about please do ask your self the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.
Q1. After reading 2 Timothy 2v11-13, what motivates me to endure and persevere?
Q2. After reading Philippians 3v17, how can I follow Jesus Christ more closely?
Q3. After reading 2 Corinthians 4:7, what is there in my life that where I show trust in God for that which He alone can do?