Is “Leading Like Jesus” the right goal?


I expect for some that question seems rhetorical at best and irreverent at worst. Of course, I don’t mean to be irreverent, and I recognize that “leading like Jesus” is the right goal for anyone Christian in leadership! It is a great goal – so good and pure and high that we will never reach it. It is worthy. It is righteous even. But I am beginning to wonder if it is not the right one – at least, not without any postscripts. Allow me to explain.

As I have given more consideration to the implication of the essential doctrine of the Triune nature of our living God, I am finding myself placing the Trinity into conversations, thoughts, and processes where I did not previously or explicitly do so. Leadership is one of those such places. My questions in leadership were always about Jesus, God the Son. And there lie great questions. What does Jesus teach us about leadership? What does Jesus model in leadership? What does Jesus expect of us in leadership? All essential questions. But I am beginning to try to understand what the implications are when my leadership pictures are all framed around God the Son, but with the postscript that forces me to consider that God the Son is an integrated part of God the Father and God the Spirit. So much so that they cannot be separated. While I have not intentionally separated the Trinity, I have failed to at least ask some key questions.

What does the nature and work of God the Spirit have to say about my leadership, or leadership overall?

What does the character of God the Father have to say about leadership?

What does the very nature of the Trinity, three in one, perfect union of wills, perfect sharing of all things, mean when it comes to leadership? There are many more such questions.

To answer these questions goes beyond the intent of this blog. Here my hope is simply to encourage you to wrestle with those same questions. Please do not ignore the lessons of leadership given to us through God the Son, but don’t stop there. Ask the bigger questions coming out of the ontological reality of the Godhead. What does the fullness of God – Father, Son, and Spirit in perfect union – teach me about leading among His people and in His name? To me, that is a much more adequate, appropriate, and robust question for a calling that is intended to reflect God in His fullness.

If you have not ever asked those extra questions can I invite you to join me in starting to do so? Let’s see what God has for us to learn.

Terry Kaufman
EFCC Leadership Catalyst