The fifth essential verb in leadership cuts to the heart of independence more than just about anything else. It is without question the definitive model of Jesus’ leadership. Faith is fundamental to this action.
Empower others. Probably one of the most challenging acts for a leader is to give away leadership. Yet, if the organization is to continue multi-dimensional growth, the leader must empower others with not simply responsibility, but more importantly authority. As long as the ministry is tightly controlled it will remain one-dimensional, creating a seemingly impenetrable glass ceiling. Which results in the very thing the leader is trying to avoid: stagnation.
Strange isn’t it? In order for our ministries to become more, we must become less. Christ gave us the perfect example of empowerment when he sent out the seventy-two: “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” Luke 10:1-2.
But that was just the beginning. Then later Jesus tells Peter: “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” Matthew 16:18. Finally, he commissions all who will follow after him in Matthew 18:19 when he says, “go and make disciples of all nations.”
Jesus was determined that in spite of the fact his disciples didn’t fully comprehend his plan, he would still empower them with the greatest mission the world had ever known: The Church. And he expects us to follow that very same model. It really comes down to one simple word: faith – in God and others.