Christ-centered leadership (CCL) has become familiar verbiage over the past decade. Like “servant leadership,” its usage is ubiquitous, but its meaning varies among those who use the term. A quick Google search for CCL yields a range of definitions that include acting with integrity, hearing God’s voice, and being anchored in the presence, power, and ministry of God.

What distinguishes Jesus’ leadership in light of more dominant leadership models of His day and ours? Certainly, Jesus influenced those He led by developing authentic relationships with them rather than resorting to strong-arm coercion or positional power.

But is Christ-centered leadership really different?


After reviewing many leadership theories over the years, I propose the characteristic that most set Jesus’ leadership apart was His capacity to discern and to develop His followers’ potential. He saw people as God’s image-bearers. He saw the future fueled by their collective, Spirit-empowered genius, and consistently demonstrated His unflinching commitment for them to reach their highest kingdom potential. The radical priority that His followers grow to their maximum kingdom potential was at the heart of Jesus’ life and ministry. He never traveled very far from the place where He was born. He never made a lot of money, and never held a prominent position. Instead, He gave Himself to the task of reproducing Himself into those who would carry the torch after His departure. He set His vision on the future, when those He had developed would catalyze a movement to change the world. There is no more life-changing leadership priority than this.

I’m interested in your thoughts. What distinguishes Jesus’ leadership model from others? 




Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

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