Four Keys to Practicing the Leadership Style of Jesus

“The cause, purpose, or reason for leading is to replace yourself.”

– Russ Crosson

For many who work diligently and ambitiously to achieve leadership positions, this idea may seem counterintuitive. However, taking a big-picture view of what leadership means can expand your reach as a leader, allowing you to further your, and your organization’s, impact.

What Scripture Says About Leadership

Joshua 1:1-9 illustrates how  leaders execute strategy, which can enable them to make wise tactical decisions.

Nehemiah 2:5-18 illustrates how leaders make operational decisions, which can foster operational continuity.

Numbers 27:18-23 illustrates how leaders develop people, which can result in engaged employees.

The Four Keys

In our experience working with business owners around the country, we have found that the following four elements are critical to leading like Jesus:

  1. Follow humbly – Every one of us is accountable to someone, and a leader’s ability to remain in a place of teachability with a desire for continued growth is vital.
  2. Inspire strategically – A leader’s ability to communicate a vision and associate it with a greater purpose will motivate individuals.
  3. Manage individually – Each person has been created uniquely and desires to be known individually.
  4. Influence lovingly – Everyone wants to be loved and valued.

(You can read more about these elements in our Covenantal Culture white paper on our Tools and Resources page.) When leaders display these four actions, we believe the clarity creates an environment for people to thrive.

For more resources on practicing the leadership style of Jesus, you may find value in the following books:

What Makes a Leader Great by Russ Crosson, where he discusses the concept of followership. (Listen to Russ’s podcast on leadership on our Tools and Resources page.)

The Secret by Mark Miller and Ken Blanchard, which addresses ideas like looking to the future, engaging others, being willing to reinvent continuously, valuing both results and relationships, and embodying the organization’s values.

The Servant Leader by Ken Blanchard, which addresses understanding team members’ perspectives, being flexible with responses, and partnering with each team member.

Love Works by Joel Manby, which examines living out a variety of virtues in the workplace.

Understanding and practicing the leadership style of Jesus can strengthen the Kingdom impact on everything from revenue to morale to vendor relations.


Here are some questions to consider as you reflect on how this information applies to your business:

  1. Do your ownership and leadership teams model followership for your organization? If so, how?
  2. Do your ownership and leadership teams exhibit servant leadership? If so, how? How does the ownership team ensure that servant leadership is being exhibited?
  3. Do your ownership and leadership teams practice situational leadership? If so, how? How does the ownership team ensure that situational leadership is being practiced?

Understanding followership and evaluating your business are the first steps. Developing and implementing an actionable plan that pursues this objective and brings the benefits follows.

Would you like personalized guidance as you think through creating a followership mentality within your business? Blue Trust’s Business Consulting division leverages biblical wisdom and practical expertise to advise business owners as they seek to faithfully steward the companies with which they have been entrusted. To learn more, visit our website.


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