#291 Jesus: Blaze the Trail

December 23, 2020

In the last issue we looked at the second action of the The Serving Leader ModelTM*, Raise the Bar, and examined how Jesus clarified values to His disciples. Jesus also clearly Blazed the Trail as He modeled for His disciples how their success would be measured.

“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:-11, 16-24).

Jesus clarified what success would look like on His team. He taught them to be successful and removed obstacles that would hinder their ultimate success. He Blazed the Trail for His followers and shows serving leaders how to do the same. 

Serving leaders clarify success with communication.

Jesus sent His team out with clear communication about the way success would be measured. Their mission was to proclaim the message He had given them. But their success would be tied to the great purpose or vision which He had shared with them, that workers would be raised up for the “harvest field.” He now tied their success to the accomplishment of that great purpose. He is clear that some would welcome their message and others would reject it. Their success was not tied to the responses. When they came back from their work and attributed success to the miracles accomplished, Jesus reminds them that their success is only tied to their names being written in heaven.

Serving leaders find a way to communicate clearly what success will look like on their team. It may be sales targets, transformed lives, new attendees or customers. Whatever the measurement, serving leaders communicate clearly what success looks like and what it is not! And they always tie success to their great purpose.

Serving leaders coach for success by teaching.

Jesus didn’t simply clarify what success would look like, He provided practical teaching for His team that helped them be successful. He instructed them about the message they were to share and gave them specific instructions. He wanted them to succeed and coached them.

Serving leaders provide the training and coaching that is needed for their team to reach success. They serve others by teaching which sets their team up for success.

Serving leaders compound success by removing obstacles. 

Jesus knew there would be problems on the road to success. So, He removed the obstacle of rejection by telling the disciples to expect it! He removed the obstacle of pride when they returned full of joy with what they had done. He reminded them that their success was not measured in the outcomes but in their relationship to Him.

Serving leaders anticipate problems on their team and remove them. They find ways to help deal with unexpected obstacles so their team can succeed.  

Serving leaders recognize that their success comes when those they lead succeed. So they focus on clarifying how success is measured and train and coach for success. And they remove obstacles along the way. They blaze the trail!

For further reflection and discussion:

  • Read the entire passage of Jesus sending out the 72 disciples in Luke 10:1-24.  Reflect on what He was doing as a leader and how it demonstrates Blazing the Trail by clarifying success, teaching for success and removing obstacles to success.      
  • Does my team understand clearly what success looks like? Have I communicated clearly how success is defined by our great purpose? Does my team know what standards do not measure success?
  • What have I done to coach my team for success? Are there specific areas on which I need to plan more training for them? When will I do this?
  • What obstacles to success does my team face? What have I done to remove these obstacles? Are there systems or regulations that are wasting time and energy on my team? What can I do to remove these?

Until next time, yours on the journey,

Jon Byler

In the next issue, we’ll examine how Jesus built on strength as He sent His disciples.

Copyright, Center for Serving Leadership 2020. 

*The Serving Leader ModelTM, was developed by Dr. John Stalh-Wert, author of “The Serving Leader.” See www.CenterForServingLeadership.com for more information.