As I (Blake) read the brilliant commentary by Barclay discussing the book of John, I noticed, again, how Jesus focused on the twelve disciples so closely. More than that, he focused even more intensely on the three, Peter, James, and John.
A couple of thoughts came flooding back to the front of my mind as I read.
- Jesus changed the world through discipleship, day to day life with twelve guys.
- Of the twelve, Jesus saw something particularly special in Peter, James, and John. He focused more intently on these men, developing them as men of God.
- We call this a leadership principle, but in reality, it is a discipleship principle.
The most impactful leaders in the world do this. They identify the people around them who can do what they do (potentially even better), and they invest more time in those people than anyone else. Now, in our post-post-modern western church culture, we can fall into the trap of thinking this is a leadership principle. It is not. It is a discipleship principle.
Jesus didn't model leadership. He modelled discipleship. He led through discipleship. A discipler is always leading. A leader is not necessarily discipling. In fact, we Americans often mistake cultural leadership principles as Biblical leadership principles, thinking everyone in the world should lead that way. We all need to worrying less about leadership and focus on discipleship, as Jesus did. When we do that, we will inevitably lead our disciples and change the world.
I hope these thoughts were interesting at least, if not challenging and though-provoking. We really appreciate all of your prayers and support. As Katy and I seek to connect with and disciple the university students of Ireland, together we are all leading them closer to God.