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Most everyone knows that leaders aren't born—they're developed. Even Jesus wasn't born with leadership skills; He too had to learn and develop them. If you study the life of Jesus, you will see seven steps He went through that developed His leadership capacity, enabling Him to fulfill His destiny. As in everything, Jesus is our example for which we are to pattern our lives after. If we'll follow in His steps, we too can fulfill God's vision and plan for our lives and ministries.

In Part 1 of Development of a Leader, we discussed the first three steps Jesus went through in His development as a leader. They were:

A Miraculous Conception
Before you can be a leader, you must be born again. Being born again is your personal "miraculous conception." Being born again makes you ready for God to plant His seed of ministry in your spirit. As you are faithful to seek God for His will in your life, He will show you what your ministry is.

Humble Beginnings
Jesus Himself had humble beginnings. Luke 2:7 tells us that there was no room for Jesus to be born at the inn. He had to go where there was space available-in a manger with the animals.

We can parallel that to our own experience. There may not be room for you to be the head usher, because that job is already filled. Like Jesus, you'll have to go where there is available space.
Everyone called to ministry has to start at the bottom. No one starts at the head. Like all those before you, you'll have to take your place at the end of the line.

Growth Time
Jesus went through a growing time. It says in Luke 2:52, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." (KJV) At a very early age, Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and favor not only with God but with man as well.

As leaders, there are many facets of our life that need growing up. For example, a successful leader cannot judge, criticize or let the hurts of his or her own life show through. It takes time for someone to grow up in these areas. That's why it's necessary for us to start at the bottom. It gives us plenty of time to develop in our character and faith. The more you grow in God, there will be "less of you" and "more of God" when you minister.

Now let's look at the last four steps Jesus went through in His development as leader. Remember to keep in mind that you, too, will go through these steps in your own leadership development. Now let's look at step number four.

Submission to Other Ministries
There will come a day when God's word to you will be "It's time to start your ministry." When that time came for Jesus, God's requirement for Him was to be in submission to another man's ministry - John the Baptist. Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptized. John knew who Jesus was and his reaction was to say, "I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?" (Matt. 3:14).

Jesus humbled Himself and submitted to John's ministry, saying, "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness" (v. 15). It was needful for Jesus to submit to John, because his ministry represented the work God was already doing in the earth.

When it comes time to pursue your calling, make sure you submit yourself to the ministry God has placed you under. If you can't pass the test of submission to others, God can't give you a place of authority in leading His people. You should have a good report from the ministry you came out of before you can go forward. Submission to authority will ensure that when it is time to fly on your own, you will be prepared.

The Anointing of the Spirit
When it was time for Jesus to begin His ministry as Savior, God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit. It says in Luke 3:22:

"And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased" (KJV).

From the time of Jesus' birth, Jesus was called to be the Savior of the world. But it wasn't until the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus that He had the power and ability to do the work of the Savior. In the same way, you may be called right now to be a teacher of God's Word, but you won't be able to do the work of a Bible teacher until God anoints you with His Spirit. That will only happen when it is time for you to begin your ministry.

"When will it be time to begin my ministry?" you ask. When your preparation time has been completed and not a second before. So don't drag your feet during your preparation time. Be diligent to grow and learn.

Proving Grounds
The next step in leadership development is what I call the "proving grounds." Right after Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit, it says He "was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil" (Luke 4:1-2). The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness where He was tempted by the devil in the areas of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Satan's goal was to get Jesus to abandon God's plan and calling for His life. Of course, Jesus successfully resisted every temptation.

After being tested for 40 days, Jesus came back into Galilee and began to minister under a mighty anointing that astonished those around Him.

Like Jesus, you too will have to confront your weaknesses when you begin to minister. The place where you will begin to really understand yourself and know who you are is in the wilderness, face to face with your adversary.

I can guarantee you, there will be all kinds of temptations that come your way. As it was with Jesus, Satan's goal will be to get you to abandon God's plan and call on your life. It is in the face of these temptations, that we learn how to be conquerors, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Each time you resist Satan's temptations, lies and accusations, you will become stronger and mightier for the kingdom of God.

Sadly, every minister does not successfully resist these temptations. The news media, unfortunately, has made it their business to expose to the world any minister who has fallen off their course. Don't let that be true of you.

You will experience a wilderness experience. Knowing this gives you a winning advantage. Being forewarned makes you forearmed.

The Power and Demonstration of the Spirit
Luke 4:14, "And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about."

After Jesus' wilderness experience, He returned to Galilee empowered by the Spirit of God. God demonstrated His presence, His power and His will to the people through Jesus. People knew God simply by observing Jesus. Jesus said of Himself, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9).

Jesus didn't minister with His own ability, because His ability as a man was insufficient. He ministered to the people through God's ability-the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "I can of Myself do nothing" (John 5:30 NKJV).

In the same way, when people are exposed to your ministry they should see the Father. God wants to demonstrate Himself to all the nations of the earth through you. If you minister in your own ability, it won't happen. For that reason, you must always go forth prayed up and full of the anointing of the Spirit of God.

The steps of leadership in Jesus' life covered His entire lifetime. It will be the same with you. Are you willing to experience a miraculous conception? go through humble beginnings? learn through personal growth? submit to the ministry God places you under? be filled with the Holy Spirit? and then face the weaknesses of your life in the wilderness?

If you can say yes to all of these things, then like Jesus you will come out of the wilderness experience in the power and demonstration of the Spirit.

Word of Faith Church & Outreach Center
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tim Davidson
Web site: Word of Faith Church & Outreach Center
Tim Davidson is the Head Pastor of Word of Faith Church and Outreach Center in Bismarck, North Dakota. A 1977 graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center of Tulsa, Oklahoma, God has called Tim into the body of Christ as a teacher and pastor. Called to the Body of Christ as a pastor and teacher, Tim Davidson pioneered Word of Faith Church in Bismarck in 1980. He served as its Lead Pastor for 35 years and now serves as Founding Pastor. Pastor Tim has pioneered 6 churches in North Dakota and now serves as Regional Director for Rhema Ministerial Association International. Teaching believers foundational truths from God's Word is his passion. He has authored 3 yearly devotion books that are used both here and overseas to help believers become "rooted and grounded" in their faith. God is now calling Pastor Tim to share the treasury of wisdom and knowledge God has given to him with other pastors and churches.

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