Leading to Be

Posted on April 14, 2012

Note: Today’s post is an excerpt from Think Differently Lead Differently, my current project.

I couldn’t keep it in much longer. 

Jesus mission was not education. He was not here to bring motivation or inspiration. His mission was always unwaveringly liberation. To His core, He knew exactly what this meant. As a result, He was calculating and relentless in His pursuit. Every word, every move, every step was an intentional move to free men from the prison of their minds, and untangle the knots of the knowledge of good and evil.

Clearly Jesus defined freedom in a particular way, and watching what He did can help us understand how the author of freedom thinks about freedom.

What He did, was take a group of men and traveled across the countryside teaching them how to change everything they encountered and touched. Think of it this way. He was showing twelve guys, and a crew of persistent women what it looked like, and how to practice dominion over the creation.

“Fever go away”, He would say, and then make sure that His followers caught what had happened.

“Peace be still”, He would say to a storm, and then turn and be sure their eyes had been on Him.

Encountering a crowd of religious know-it-alls? He peered inside their hearts and told stories. “Once upon a time there was a man who owed a little bit of money…” and then He would steal a glance at His disciples. “Get it?”, the gleam in His eye would say.

A scared insecure tax collector? A shame filled near-death prostitute? A self-confident Pharisee? All of these fell under the sway of Jesus restoring God’s blueprint to the cosmos.

Two things stand out to me about Jesus strategy.  First He spent the bulk of His time teaching them how to be and what to do, not rules and restrictions. Second, He taught them on the move, not in a classroom.

Jesus was restoring God’s intended design. He was showing men and women how Adam and Eve might have taken dominion over the creation. Contrary to our religious mindset, He was not spending His time trying to get them to behave well.

Jesus was showing them how to step into the role for which they were created.  We were created to take dominion over the planet. Over the kingdom of darkness. Over sickness. Over Hopelessness. Over fear and insecurity. All of these things  and more, were designed to be subject to us. Jesus took His team on the road and showed them how to do this.

Any prohibitions He may have handed out were all in the context of teaching them how to be who they were made to be, and do what they were made to do.  He was not showing them what not to do. He was showing them who to be.

Secondly, His approach to this was to go and do, and teach on the way. People who are learning about something they are already doing have an entirely different learning process than those who are learning about something they may do someday.

You teach athletes their game out on the field, not in a classroom. Wilderness education takes place with hungry people in cold forests. They are very motivated to learn about how to eat and how to stay warm.

Classrooms minus experience teach information, and implicitly, they teach passivity.  If you want someone to grow and learn, take them right out in the middle of reality and then begin to show them how to be.

Jesus did not come to educate men about how to avoid bad behavior, and strategies for better Bible scholarship.

Jesus did not come to motivate people to get up off their chairs and try harder.

Jesus came to liberate people from the prison of the world that had been wrapped around our minds.


  • Theiansterscorner

    This is very detailed blog ever

  • Aja Schiewe

    Glad you couldn’t wait! There seems to be layers to me fully embracing the “taking dominion” concept; glad you are taking us on the road with you until we really get it (especially us persistent women).

  • Bob- This is great! I love it when people share Jesus as He actually is in the Bible (go figure…). I also love HIS teaching method – ‘doing the stuff’ and ‘as they went.’ Please keep leaking!

  • Amy

    “He was not showing them what not to do. He was showing them who to be.”

    THIS is the key to teaching/leading my children well. I look forward to reading more!

  • Josiah C

    Well that was certainly a tasty morsel to whet my appetite!! 🙂

  • Melanee Lisa Davidson

    I love the whole post!
    And one of my favorite parts?

    “Jesus was restoring God’s intended design. He was showing men and women how Adam and Eve might have taken dominion over the creation. Contrary to our religious mindset, He was not spending His time trying to get them to behave well.”

    THANK YOU, PAPA, FOR BOB!!!

  • Alan Meyers

    Wow Bob…
    allittle confirmation, alot of clarity and a great challenge to take it out of the classroom….

  • Marti Felgar

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! “We were created to take dominion over the planet. Over the kingdom of darkness. Over sickness. Over Hopelessness. Over fear and insecurity. All of these things and more, were designed to be subject to us.” … It is a constant battle to stay in this place! So often, when I share this quest with people in the church I get a polite nod or an arguement as to why it just can’t be so. If it can’t then why did Paul write, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.” I’ve been on this quest for awhile and your path, Bob, has been a tremendous blessing on the way!!

  • Kristin Brillant

    This concept of being and doing as a leader is going to take prominent lead in discussion tomorrow. I’m being interviewed by a group of corporate VIPs for potential entry into the Emerging Leaders Program for our organization. It’s a BIG deal. So much of your teaching has informed who I have become as a person and as a leader.

  • Kristin….thanks…I am proud of who you have become

  • Jaymes Downer

    So Dang Good!!!!! Can’t wait to read book two!