Raising Lazarus from the dead is considered by many to be the greatest miracle of Jesus’ earthly ministry (prior to His death and resurrection). Yet in the midst of the miracle there’s a powerful leadership lesson being laid down by the Master. There’s what Jesus did do, and then there’s what Jesus didn’t do. Let’s take a look at both.
What Jesus Did Do
Like any great leader, Jesus focused on the one thing that only He could do – give life to a man who had been dead in the tomb for four days. There was nobody else on His ministry team at this point who had been given the authority to accomplish such a miraculous feat, so that’s what Jesus focused on. He set the standard for leadership by focusing on the one thing that only He could do and not allowing Himself to get distracted by those things that those on His ministry team could help Him accomplish. That’s the picture of effective leadership.
What Jesus Didn’t Do.
1 – Jesus Didn’t Remove the Obsticle that Stood In The Way.
There was an obstacle standing between dead Lazarus and Jesus. It was a large heavy stone covering the entrance to the tomb. Before Jesus could perform the miracle and raise Lazarus from the dead, that obstacle first had to be removed. But Jesus Himself didn’t remove it. He delegated that responsibility to those around Him…
Jesus *said, “Remove the stone.” (John 11:39)
Often times the reason a leader struggles to fulfill his purpose and make progress is because he won’t delegate authority with responsibility to those around him. He won’t empower others to fulfill their purpose by giving them the chance to eliminate the obstacles standing between the team and the mission.
[shareable cite=”@PastorTHall”]Your ministry/organization won’t move forward until you learn how to delegate both Responsibility AND Authority.[/shareable]
If you have a hard time letting go by delegating responsibility AND authority, then like it or not you have become the obstacle that’s standing in the way of progress. You’ll never become everything you’re created to become or get to the places you’re called to go until you first learn how to LET GO.
And if you’re only delegating tasks without also delegating your authority, you’re not reproducing leaders, you’re just creating good task accomplishers and by doing so you’ve set a very heavy lid on your ministry/organization.
A Ministry Note: Only Jesus can bring salvation into someones life, but it’s up to the church to identify and eliminate all of the obstacles that stand between lost people and Jesus.
This includes the obstacles of:
- Religious/unbiblical traditions.
- Judgemental attitudes.
- Outdated models of ministry.
- Ineffective outreach, etc
2 – Jesus Didn’t Loose Lazarus of His Grave Clothes.
Jesus told those near Lazarus to loose him. It was up to His team to help Lazarus get free from that which was still binding him. Take a look:
And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.” John 11:44
Notice that Jesus didn’t micromanage – He didn’t tell them HOW to loose him, he left that up to them. He trusted His team to get the job done and carry it to completion. That’s what it means to delegate authority WITH responsibility. You have to trust your team to get the job done. If you can’t trust your team than either:
A) You have the wrong members on team.
B) You haven’t effectively developed or invested in your team.
C) You’re insecure and have trust issues.
Either way, as the leader the problem is yours to fix.
A Ministry Note: Like Lazarus, just because someone has experienced new life in Christ doesn’t mean that they’re still not wrapped up in some stuff. Jesus does the saving, but the church is called to help do the unwrapping (aka discipling). It’s our job to help people get loose from:
- Bad habits
- Old mindsets, etc
An effective leader isn’t the one who does it all, it’s the one who can help those around him discover and develop the gifts that God has placed within them and then give them the opportunity to exercise those gifts.
Am I suggesting that Jesus wasn’t willing to do those other things or that they were beneath Him as a leader? Absolutely not! After all, we’re talking about Jesus, the Son of God who washed the disciples feet. A true leader is also a true servant, but the mark of any great servant-leader is the ability to discern the best and most effective way to serve those he or she is leading. By trying to do it all you’re actually robbing people of the opportunity to grow and develop their own God given gifts.
Leader, what you are doing right now that you shouldn’t be doing?
Who are you training, developing, and pouring into that will eventually be able to do what you do? Who are you delegating both responsibility and authority to? Who is helping you to focus on doing the things that only you can and should be doing while giving them the chance to do that same?
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