If you are training people in leadership, how do you help people understand what you are teaching?
Consider Jesus’ approach:
1. You could start with a point of passion.
Look for what is making them angry. Find an injustice that has them completely furious. Especially if it is an injustice that affects them.
“How come he gets special treatment?”
“How come they get to do that and I have to do this?”
2. Call everyone together for a staff meeting. Instead of scolding, however, start by talking about the common enemy.
“You know what the Romans are like. They can make you do anything they want. They can ruin your life. You know how much you hate that? Why are you making that your leadership model?”
The whole group knows how bad Rome is. They are being shown that there is a flawed leadership model involved.
3. Make it clear to all involved that neither side in the passionate debate has it completely right.
James and John were asking for seats of power. The other ten were mad that the two had asked first. Jesus says, in essence, “You’re all working from the wrong model.” It wasn’t about who got there first or whether he had favorites.
4. Explain how you want it to work.
Jesus tells them about the model of leading that he wants them to use. It’s a model of serving, of putting the good of your people ahead of your personal desires and comforts. He carefully repeats the image of servant and of slave. There is no missing the idea.
5. Demonstrate it in the clearest possible way.
Jesus ends by saying that he is giving up his life for them. And then, within a week, he does.
How well do the people you are training understand your model?