Posted June 5, 2012
Recently I was reading the story of Jesus confrontation with Zaccheaus and I noticed at least 10 principles that apply to all of us when choosing leaders to help us in our work.
First the story:
Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:1-10 NLT)
Now the principles:
Success in ministry has a lot to do with choosing the right leaders. Good ones will minimize your weaknesses or maximize your strengths. Jesus spent hours in conversation with his father before choosing the men who he would pour his life into. I’m not sure this encounter was as random as it looks. I think possibly Zaccheaus became a part of Jesus extended leadership circle. I also think he was carefully chosen.
The next great leader may not be the obvious choice. Most people wrote Zaccheaus off as a short little crook. Jesus saw thru the obvious to his hidden potential. Many people believe that Zaccheaus was actually the Apostle Mathias who was chosen to be one of the Twelve when Judas betrayed Jesus. Some believe he went on to become the Bishop of Ceaserea. At any rate, he became more than he was before his encounter with Jesus. If you are going to build a great team you’re going to have to get good at looking thru people to their God given destiny.
Choose people who go out of their way to get involved in what you’re doing. Zaccheaus didn’t let the fact that he too short and the crowd too big keep him from seeing Jesus. There are probably some people who are making a major effort to be close to you. Don’t overlook them. If you don’t have to talk them into following, you probably won’t have to talk them into staying.
Don’t be so focused on what you are doing that you don’t look up every once in a while. Jesus could have missed Zaccheaus because of the crowd. He paused and looked up. Do you do that? “Who is new? Why are they here? Could this be the person we’ve been praying for to fill a gap in our team?” You’ll never see them unless you look up.
Do your homework. Jesus had him at “Zaccheaus”. We love it when somebody who shouldn’t knows our name. Be that person. If possible, study the list. Read the roster. Surprise them. The simple act of knowing their name may be the opening that sets them on a path to their destiny.
Don’t be afraid to issue an invitation and challenge right away. Jesus didn’t wait till he’d been to the Newcomers/Membership Class and proven his faithfulness. He invited Zaccheaus to spend the afternoon with him. “And by the way, let’s throw a party at your house.”
Don’t be surprised when the old guard gets their undies in a bunch. They are upset that Zaccheaus doesn’t pass the background check. When you take a risk with a promising but raw new leader, there may be some on your team that won’t understand. Be respectful, but sometimes you’ve got to follow your gut.
Don’t under estimate the transforming power of food Jesus invited him to a meal, not a Bible study. Food is disarming, socially inviting, and encourages meaningful conversation. Build food into your team building budget. (Better yet, recruit short rich crooks. They can pay their own way.)
People are more likely to respond to grace than rules. Zaccheaus knew the rules. He was more than willing to follow them when extended grace. When you build a culture of grace you’ll have less to fight about.
When salvation comes to the whole household, the potential for multiplication is staggering. I look at my own family as an example. Because someone didn’t overlook the leadership potential in my “short little crook” grandfather, there is a “household” of Surratt’s reproducing kingdom life all over the planet.
Can you see other leadership principles in the story of Zaccheaus?
Category: ARC, Leadership, Pastors
Tags: choosing a team, Dream Team, leadership, Luke 19:1-10, Volunteers, Zaccheaus |