Scroll down in any leadership blog, and you will read about seven principles, four mandates, three proverbs, 12 characteristics or any number of “leaders do this” lessons.
I choose to offer one primary principle of leadership that Jesus taught:
“Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, neither can you, unless you remain in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).
We cannot lead in love in our own strength.
Attempting to lead and serve others without Christ is malpractice. The branch is destined for the fire.
This is what matters most: that we remain in Him. We can do nothing without Him. We certainly cannot love our teams without Him. There is no other foundation upon which a leader can build. We must know Him, and we must remain in Him.
When man begins to believe he is “all that,” when he begins to believe his own press clippings, when he begins to believe the delusion that he can lead his team in his own strength, the leader withers like the branch.
Consider the words of Christ:
“If a man does not remain in Me, he is thrown out as a branch and withers. And they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:6).
Leaders who bear fruit labor to remain in Christ. They don’t just accept Him as an authority in their lives; they trust Him for the daily manna to direct their teams.
Fruit comes from the vine, not from the man who labors in the garden, no matter how hard he works.
The healthiest vine is rooted and grounded in Jesus. We must remain in Him.