We’ll be continuing our series on Leadership qualities we can learn from the greatest MAN that ever lived – JESUS. You see, the fact that He lived on earth as a man gives you and I hope that we TOO can do the things He did and even greater (John 14:12)
**You can click here to read the first part of this series**
Lets start with the our foundation scripture written by the renowned Medical specialist, Dr. Luke…
Luke 6:40 “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” ~NIV
Here we see that each of us is a potential leader, although not all of us grow to actualize that potential. It is my prayer that at the end of this series you and I will have learnt a thing or two that when applied will bring out the leadership potentials in us thus empowering you and I to influence our society positively.
PRINCIPLE 2 – JESUS WAS AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATOR (John 1:1-3)
In John 6:63 we see that words are spirit, words are eternal, they never die…
Have you ever said some nasty words to someone at work and find that a day or two later while rolling on the bed trying to catch a nap, those words begin to playback in your head?
Or perhaps someone insulted you last week, do you find that each time you see that person, you hear the words all over again?
As I wrote in my article on words, Don’t use bad words and expect that an apology will make it all go away, trust me, those words live on in the mind of the person you spoke to and others who may have heard you.
**Now some of you might be wondering what all this leadership talk has to do with you especially when you feel you’re JUST a new recruit in a firm, an undergraduate or a stay-at-home mother.
Well, before God, you are a leader as long as you have ANYONE within your “sphere of influence” be it your little nephew, your spouse or your friends at the local pub.**
LEADERSHIP IS INFLUENCE!!
Every Leader Must be a Master of Words
We must learn how to use the “instrument” of words effectively, creatively and productively.
Words are the vehicles that carry our thoughts and every leader must master how to convey the thoughts in his/her mind exactly as they are.
**Lets take two quotes, one from someone you should know and the other from a book you really should read more often**
“If I went back to college again, I’d concentrate on two areas: learning to write and to speak before an audience. Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.”
~ Gerald R. Ford (38th US President)
Prov 25:11 “The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewellery” ~MSG
The ideal communicator is one who makes use of the exact words that describe what he is thinking. Effective communication paints the right pictures in the mind of the listener, it enables your audience to SEE what you’re saying.
**Now, a few people might be asking, how good is this JESUS guy whom i’m using as a model? Yeah, He’s the Son of God and all; I know He did a couple of miracles while here, was always at odds with the pharisee dudes and even walked on water at a time to meet up with His buddies… But, we’re talking about communication in the 21st Century with platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and of course WordPress. Can I learn anything contemporary from Him?**
Let’s hear what two of His cronies have to say about His speaking prowess…
Mark 1:22 “They were surprised at his teaching — so forthright, so confident — not quibbling and quoting like the religion scholars.” ~MSG
Matt 7:28-29 “When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. 29 It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying — quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard.” ~MSG
**I can HEAR the silence… Yeah, He was that BAD!! (or that good, depending on what generation you belong to). Now back to our class **
The Man JESUS Spoke with Authority
He spoke as one who knew who He was, what He was saying and had absolute control over the subject matter being discussed.
He did not speak with doubt, but rather with conviction and commitment, He spoke from personal experience not hearsay.
There are two kinds of speakers:
- Those who carry other people’s views and,
- Those who speak from their heart what they know and have experienced, these group of people speak with authority
You must know your subject, not only in your head but you must also live your subject in order to be a great leader/communicator
**The word “subject” in this context is not the title of a course in school, but an area of focus, one in which the leader specializes and constantly develops expertise in**
JESUS Used Memorable Illustrations (parables)
Let’s take at an one of His many parables as reported by our friend Dr. Luke…
Luke 15:8-10 Or imagine a woman who has ten (silver) coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? 9. And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ 10. Count on it — that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God. ~MSG
Now, on the surface this appears to be a simple story about a pretty tight-fisted woman who seems to have a lot of time on her hand… BUT, if u dig in a bit, you’ll see that:
1. The coin is silver, of intrinsic worth and value; not base metal, as iron or lead. A coin as you know has an image on it. In this case this silver coin is stamped with God’s image and superscription, and therefore is of extreme importance.
2. The coin was lost, This silver coin was lost in the dirt; a soul plunged in the world, and overwhelmed with the love of it and care about it, is like a piece of money in the dirt;
3. While many of us may not make a big deal out of a penny or two that has fallen into the drain, here, a great deal of care and pains is taken in the quest to find it. Depicting that God cares about EVERY soul that is lost!
4. The woman lights a lamp, to look behind the door, under the table, and in every corner of the house, sweeps the house, and seeks diligently till she finds that ONE coin. This represents the various means and methods God makes use of to bring lost souls home to Himself: He has lighted the candle of the gospel, not to show Himself the way to us, but to show us the way to Him, to discover us to ourselves; He has swept the house by the convictions of the word; He seeks diligently, His heart is upon it, to bring lost souls to Himself. ~MHC
** Now, i’m sure you’re amazed at how much information our Model – JESUS conveyed in that short story of 75 words compared with the 237 words of my explanation**
So what do we learn here:
1. Keep your message simple: keep it clear, be in touch with your subject and use memorable illustrations that people can remember.
Use everyday words to explain complex ideas, remember that only a few people are at your level of education, so keep it simple.
2. Don’t water down the message: While making effort to simplify the message, we must clearly define the non-negotiable part of it; i.e. Keep the essence of the message intact.
3. Speak within the context of your audience: JESUS passed his message using imagery that his audience were familiar with and could relate to. Since Isreal was agro-centric at the time, most of His parables were related to various forms of agriculture such as fishing and farming.
4. Variety is truly the spice of life: He used various communicating forms such as parables, dramas or a surprising statement. Attimes, speakers must make use of introductory statements that will draw people’s attention before going ahead to give the main message.
5. Be the message: Whatever JESUS said represented who He was; He was ONE with His words. Your words should represent your character. There’s no point preaching/teaching what you don’t practice, people relate better to those who have been there, done that and got a T-shirt!
6. Challenge your audience to action: The basis for judging the effectiveness of your communication is the number of people that put your words to work. Design your message in such a way that you provide practical steps that people can follow in order to walk the talk.
Before we close today’s class, lets hear from what some notable people have to say about our subject matter:
“The language of truth is unadorned and always simple.”
~ Marcellinus Ammianus
“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
~ Attributed to Plato
“Who you are is speaking so loudly that I can’t hear what you’re saying.” **I love this one!**
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.”
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
WORDS have creative power, they carry your Ideas and reveal your thoughts. Effective use of words is an art and you and I will (by God’s grace) become the next ARTIST that everyone’s talking about!!
It is my hope and prayer that you have learnt a thing or two in today’s class, please feel free to drop a comment **I love comments** or a question below. You can find out more about the Author here.
1. MSG – (from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)
2. MHC – (from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)