The Absurd Leadership of Jesus

Stated by Albert Einstein (not pictured)

Stated by Albert Einstein (not pictured)

Jesus is a unique person who did things differently. Christians identify Jesus as the perfect Love of God incarnate, so surely what he does is something we should imitate. The ever illusive search for best leadership practices leads some to consider if Jesus had any leadership practices that may be helpful. I am not the first to engage in this practice, there are many others who have done this. However, let me offer just a few leadership tactics from Jesus for your consideration.

  1. Communication is key. So, do not speak directly but speak in parables where your followers do not understand you. This way you can ensure maximum confusion and misunderstanding on what the mission of the cause is. 
  2. Get the right people on the bus. Be sure they will abandon and disavow ever being a part of the movement. 
  3. Put Judas in charge of the money. The person you may have the most reason to distrust and the one person who garners the most suspicion of the group, yes put that person in charge of the money.
  4. Build an organization around an idea that no one wants. Picking up your cross and following the Crucified One does not test well in focus groups.   
  5. Mentoring is invaluable. Be sure to locate the leader wearing camel's hair and eating locus by the river. Ask that one to mentor you.

The absurd leadership of Jesus is something not often discussed in leadership circles. But Jesus was not always the best leader by today's standards. If a leader today did much of what Jesus did then we may call into question the sanity of that leader. 

Jesus is much more complicated that just a list of "best practices," and to reduce Jesus to such a thing belittles the mission of his life, death and resurrection. Additionally, church leaders who look to Jesus for their leadership model may be on the wrong end of the institutional/organizational goals and values.

There are many leadership teachers out there who all teach a fine model of leadership: Jim Collins, Seth Godin, John C. Maxwell, Gretchen Rubin and whoever is currently on the best seller lists. All of these leadership styles sell because they are are reasonable and sensible. 

Jesus is absurd. Which may be why he has to call us.