And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach,
And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:
Jesus chooses 12 men from among all His disciples and appoints them as Apostles.
I find this act of choosing leadership completely counter to contemporary philosophies of leadership development. Jesus puts all His chips on men that are virtually untested. In fact as we watch the 12 closely throughout the Gospels, we continually see character traits that should eliminate them from leadership. We see pettiness, greed, pride, competition, and impulsiveness. They lacked wisdom, endurance, foresight, discretion, and the list goes on. On the other hand these men had shown qualities that had great potential. Characteristics like loyalty, commitment, integrity, and humility were evident in the 12. But Jesus appointed these men after concerted prayer. He did not choose them merely on what He saw but on what the Father saw in them. And they were by no means qualified for the promotion. Their apostolic authority would not be affectively used until after the ascension. Jesus chose them for what they would become.
I believe this is the key to developing Kingdom leaders. We take a man or woman under tutelage based on God’s calling for us to help people become what God desires rather than what they are. These disciples do not come prepackaged. Of course you may size up the raw material before investing, but God sees the end-state. He is not necessarily looking for the brightest, strongest, fastest, and most beautiful. But He is looking for heart. And I would suggest that we as Disciplemakers, should line up our criteria for selection with God’s criteria. But who among us is 100% on evaluating the heart. This brings us right back to prayer. God is fully aware of what is in a man or woman’s heart (1 Sam 16.7). He sees what they will become.
But praying does not eliminate all risk. God does not always give us clear guidance. He often allows us to choose for ourselves. He acts as a wise parent developing a child’s decision making process. Hence, we will make mistakes. And so did the Apostles. This brings another component of leadership development into the picture. The principle of self-selection. The Apostles were volunteers and Jesus treated them that way. He did not force or manipulate them. He set the table and it was up to them to eat. He gave them plenty of opportunities to leave the team. We need to remember that ultimately the decision to follow Christ or be a Kingdom Leader rests squarely on the shoulders of the person we are training. In a sense, they are choosing us. (There is so much more to say in this area…) FJ72
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