The dictionary meaning of the word 'Leader' is the one who leads.
For us the ultimate leader is Jesus, for he is not only our saviour but our Lord. In the kingdom the term Leader would mean, the one who leads in 'serving', as we understand from Mathew 20: 25-28.
25 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.
26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave--
28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Looking at Jesus and his life will enable us to understand what kind of leader God wants us to be.
I. The qualities of a leader:
1. Be a prayer warrior:Jesus had the right relationship with God the Father. He got up early morning and he made sure he had a good prayer time. The bible talks about Jesus praying the whole night.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
2. Meditate on the word : Jesus even when he was 12 years old he was at the synagogue learning and asking questions to learn about the scriptures.
41 Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover.
42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom.
43 After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.
44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.
45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.
46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
3. Teach the word: Jesus made use of every opportunity to teach the word of God to his disciples and to the crowds.
Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge.
1 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples.
2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles!
4. Show compassion: Jesus was there when he was needed. People flocked to him because he always had compassion on the sick and poor.
40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean."
41 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!"
42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
5. Go into all the world: Jesus went to diff towns and villages to spread the good news that he is the Saviour.
36 Simon and his companions went to look for him,
37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!"
6. Be hardline on sin: Jesus was hardline on sin. He was always ready to point out sin in people, to tell them the truth, so that they have a chance to change.
1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
2 "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.
3 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5 "Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;
6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;
7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'
8 "But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.
9 And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.
10 Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ.
11 The greatest among you will be your servant.
12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
13 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
15 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.
16 "Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.'
17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?
18 You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.'
19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
20 Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.
21 And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it.
22 And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it.
23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.
28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
29 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.
30 And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'
31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.
32 Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!
33 "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.
35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
36 I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.
37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
38 Look, your house is left to you desolate.
39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
7. Be Gracious: Jesus was gracious to people around him. What a stunning picture of grace he exhibits in John 8:1-11.
1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.
3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group
4 and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"
6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.
7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
11 "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
8. Care for others: Jesus saw the crowd was hungry and fed about 5000 people.
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?"
6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"
8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up,
9 "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"
10 Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them.
11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted."
13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
9. Be willing to get into people's lives: Jesus not only healed the invalid by the pool, but also he talked to him about the consequence of his life.
1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews.
2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.
3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie--the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.
5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"
7 "Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."
8 Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk."
9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath,
10 and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat."
11 But he replied, "The man who made me well said to me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.'"
12 So they asked him, "Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?"
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."
10. Glory to God only: Jesus did not look for Glory and power for himself.
14 After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world."
15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
11. Sow and Reap: Jesus was always focussed on evangelising and converting people to the Living God.
1 The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John,
2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.
3 When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria.
5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
6 Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"
8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
11 "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?
12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"
13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,
14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
15 The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."
16 He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back."
17 "I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband.
18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."
19 "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."
21 Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
25 The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."
26 Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."
27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?"
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people,
29 "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?"
30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something."
32 But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about."
33 Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?"
34 "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
35 Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.
36 Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.
37 Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true.
38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did."
40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.
41 And because of his words many more became believers.
42 They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."
12. Sacrifice is the key: Jesus was willing to give his life for us.
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
II. Why should we respect leaders:
Growing up all of us have been taught to respect elders and all authority at home, in school, in college, in work place etc. In the kingdom of God, the leaders irrespective of whether they are older or younger than us, need to be respected , for the following reasons.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
12 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.
13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
We not only have to respect them in everyway, but also love and care for them!
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a 'joy', not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
See, it is to our advantage if we respect the leaders.
III. How to aspire to be leaders:
Remember it is the Lord who makes leaders who can serve others, so aspire to please God and not people or self. Aspire means to' feel an earnest ambition'.
1. Pray that God could use you.
2. Read and meditate on the word of God daily. Take notes as you learn from the word.
3. Learn to speak and write and read English as well as the local language. Be bold do not worry about making grammatical mistakes when you attempt to speak. It is okay to make mistakes while you learn.
4. Learn the first few studies from Guard the Gospel and go ahead and teach it to somebody you meet. Again don't be afraid of making mistakes. Ask your discipler to correct the way you do the studies.
5. It is equally important to sit in studies when leaders are doing studies with others to learn from them how to do the studies.
6. Look around in your family group to see who needs help, who is the one missing meetings. Pray with them daily to strengthen them. Share with them what you are learning. Ask your family group leader advice on how you can help them.
7. Be friends with brothers and sisters in the family group.
8. Be eager to meet any new visitor who comes to weekly meetings or Sunday worship and try to be their friend, share your life and aim to set up studies with them in consultation with your family group leader.
9. Make sure you share good news in your family group about what you are learning from the word of God, about people you are reaching out to, about the people who are studying the bible, about miracles God is doing in your life and others and anything encouraging you see in other disciples life.
10. It is important to show interest in discipling at least one person in the family group.
11. Be hardline about sin-first in your life and then in others.
12. Be open with your discipler about your relationship with God,your life, your feelings, your attitudes, details about your family life, workplace or school or college and anything else that might hinder your progress in the Lord.