Leading By Example
Who is someone you want to be like? We all have people we look up to for the good example they are to us. As parents, let’s do as we say we want our kids to do…let’s be good examples. Jess tells us how and why.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very natureof a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8
My first job out of college, I was led by an incredibly godly boss who tenderly and very graciously guided me. He was fun, steady, hardworking and never showed up even a minute late for work. I don’t remember a single difficult conversation about my performance in my four years there, but God used Bill to shape my work ethic in several ways. His unchanging example was so powerful I wanted to follow in his footsteps. Even eight years later, I can see his example affecting the way I work.
Scripture is clear about the value of leading by example. Jesus is the best model of this we have. Let’s take a look at a few ways we could learn from Jesus’ leadership.
1. Jesus put skin on. Jesus is GOD! John 1 tells us He was there at creation. Yet in His time on earth, Jesus never used his power to gain anything for Himself. In fact, He made Himself the least. He got on our level. Jesus, the God of the universe made Himself FULLY MAN! Sometimes it’s difficult to set aside role, authority or power to lead where we’re called. Often what we need to do is get our hands dirty and set aside our position to be with those we lead in their work or play. We know Jesus faced even the difficult parts of being man (Hebrews 4:15) so He could understand our weakness.
2. Jesus spent only three years in teaching ministry. In thirty-three years of life on earth, Jesus taught for three. He didn’t spend His life only talking about His Father…He lived it, He walked with Him! As a parent or leader, sometimes it’s easiest to communicate directions through words. What if we practiced what we preach before we even preached? How much more powerful does that make our message?
3. Jesus washed feet. In the last hours before His crucifixion we see Jesus serving His disciples. Aware that the day ahead of him would be His most difficult, He took care of the needs of His people not Himself. Service is LOUD and so “followable”. When we set an example of serving those we lead, following eyes will be quick to serve!
The simplest first step for any leader/parent/teacher/mentor is to do as you ask. We see throughout the gospels how we should live because of the great example of our Lord. Praise God for showing us so clearly what He calls us to.
What specific examples have your parents set for you that you are eager to follow? How can you set a good example for your friends and classmates?