Jesus: the ultimate change leader. He changed an entire religious institution and inaugurated a fundamental shift in believers’ approach to God.
Of course, the changes we seek to implement pale by comparison to what he accomplished. Still, we can learn innumerable lessons by considering his mindset – his attitude – as one aspect of his ability to produce seismic shifts and changes.
Consider the following.
First, his attitude toward the plan.
Jesus held a clear vision. He knew what it would take and how to get there. He was totally committed to it. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross.
Second, his attitude toward critics.
Jesus faced criticism fearlessly and sometimes confronted it directly. Pharisees and Sadducees observed from a distance, spied on him, spread rumors, muttered under their breath, attempted to publicly embarrass and in fact, ultimately participated in his death. None of this deterred Jesus nor intimidated him!
Third, His attitude toward the slow-wittedness and even resistance from his followers.
Jesus disciples fell asleep during the most important night of his ministry! They lacked the prayer life and faith to cast out demons. They proved exceedingly slow to understand and incorporate some of the most basic points of faith.
Still, Jesus expressed compassion and empathy with his followers even when they seemed to be really slow in getting the point. Though it was necessary to rebuke Peter, Jesus did so in a straightforward, loving way.
He prodded, he rebuked, he spent years teaching them, and hours praying for them. He sacrificed everything for them. And ultimately, they were transformed by it all.
Finally, his attitude toward God.
Jesus never lost sight of the source of the plan he was sent to accomplish nor of the source of his strength to accomplish it.
This was his Father’s kingdom. His Father’s will.
His was the role of the Sent One, the Suffering Servant.
Therefore he prayed. And persisted. And ultimately prevailed.
Pastor, when considering the changes and direction for your congregation, seek to emulate Christ who was both passionate towards the vision God had given him and compassionate towards the people he was sent to serve.
Let this mind be in us!