Leadership, Jesus our great example! – Part 4
In this concluding series, we present Jesus’ leadership example on discipleship. Yes, He washed His disciples’ feet and through this, He had hoped that His disciples would replicate it later, (John 13:12-17). He was aware that in teaching, one of the most powerful tools is teaching by example. I remember in my primary school days our teachers during Physical and Health Sessions (P.H.S) used to say to us “do as I do” and we would respond: “we will do as you are doing today”. Whatever the teacher does is repeated by the pupils, hence, Jesus says: “what I did by washing your feet, you should do to one another”, (John 13:14).
Unfortunately, both in the Church and society, everybody seems to have no time for teaching and learning. People are in a hurry; they want to climb to leadership position in a hurry, so much so that there is no effective mentoring and we can see the resultant effect, mistakes here and there. In Old Testament, Joshua was a servant of Moses and when Moses died, he took over from him. And the Lord promised him, ‘as I was with Moses so shall I be with you, I will never leave you nor forsake you”, (Josh. 1:5). Elisha was a servant of Elijah and even poured water into his hands, (2 Kings 3:11). Of course, he later received double portion of Elijah’s spirit and the mantle fell on him. In the New Testament, Paul mentored people like Timothy, Silas and the Ephesian elders.
When Jesus started, He chose 12 disciples to be with Him and for Him to teach them. The twelve were able to turn the world upside down later. That was the power of discipleship, mentoring. Therefore, Jesus left us with a command: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, (Matthew 28:19-20). We are to teach, we are to follow them up who come to the fold!
My only worry sometimes is that the Church seems to be distracted on this idea of discipleship. What can we do in order not to disappoint Jesus, our example on discipleship? I think we can adopt OPERATION ANDREW (one to one bringing to the Lord-John 1:40-42, 43-49). We must contend for the faith once delivered to the Saints for certain men have secretly slipped in among you, Jude 3-4. Note the ferocity of Islam to overrun Christianity. We are yet to recover from the North Africa experience. We need to go out to win souls for Christ. Indeed, souls are perishing daily. We need to persuade people to accept Jesus as Lord and personal Saviour. He is the only way to God and more so, His second coming is near. We need to depend on Holy Spirit for the accomplishment of this mission.
Therefore, my desire for the Church of God is that every believer will be a disciple, every disciple a discipler and the entire people of God prepared as candidates for heaven to the glory and praise of our Father in Heaven. Amen!
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
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