How do you make a difference in the world today? It seems like we’re always being challenged to become better leaders. But at a time where we can all impact the world in our own ways, why do we strive to be more like everyone else we know?
I try to model my life after a carpenter who walked the earth over two thousand years ago. He was a serving leader. Jesus didn’t have great political skills or army of followers at the time he launched his mission but he did have a powerful message that would change the world forever. He worked closely with his followers and he shared his wisdom with anyone who would listen. He picked a team of followers from across society. He may have been the first leader who recognized the power in community and the inherent value of diversity.
His followers included many of his society’s least desirables and the unclean. The stories about him leave little doubt that he loved people. He enjoyed his time while he was here but understood how challenging it was to go against manmade power structures. He understood how hard it was to make change happen across society. He strove to help others make lasting change. He understood that even the best people backslide, no matter how committed they might be to a cause. He loved them always.
He taught the lesson of inclusion and belonging. This may have alienated many of his family and friends who believed they were called to a unique position in the world. This stand against organized religions is still talked about throughout the world.
He chose not to judge others and felt love was more powerful than hate. He came from a highly structured culture but chose to share an intimate view of his Holy Father. His belief that God was approachable changed how people viewed God across many cultures.
When you study the times in which Jesus lived you uncover a very violent time in mankind’s history. He was the not the first man that the Romans crucified or would he be the last. Many of his early followers would meet a similar fate. He chose to preach love and not overthrow. Many historians believed that this is why many abandoned his early church.
Jesus came from a culture that preached an eye for an eye and this would leave many people blind. Jesus focused on serving in others, forgiveness, and love to be his lasting legacy. These simple ideas would create a movement that has helped changed the world for over 2000 years.
For my friends and fellow serving leaders across the globe I wanted to take time to wish you a Happy Easter from Tricia and I.
Next week I will return to discuss how to attract, build, develop and retain your nonprofit teams. See you then.