Leadership Quality: Commitment Part 5

Jesus vs. Simon Peter-Luke 22:54-62 (negative)

Jesus stayed fully committed to His cause and His people in the face of adversity, while Peter ran away. Peter’s commitment was drained away at the garden. When our commitment drains away, we follow the same progression as Peter:

Stage 1: His following became distant. Peter is still following Christ, but incognito. He’s no longer ready to die.
Stage 2: His fellowship became divided. Peter is mixing with the uncommitted crowd.
Stage 3: His faith became deluded. His words now reveal his weakness, even among men and women who pose no immediate threat to him.
Stage 4: His fervor became denial. Peter rejects any association with Jesus. His words no longer display apathy, but rejection.

Levels of Commitment

Level One: Come and See. This is the curiosity level (see John 1:35-51). At this stage Jesus’ interaction is light and easy. When people are here, look for chemistry and faithfulness.
Level Two: Come and Follow. This is the commitment level (see Luke 5:1-11). Jesus’ words now call for some commitment. The person is ready to be challenged. Look for hunger and teachability.
Level Three: Come and Surrender. This is the conviction level (see Mark 8:34, 35). This step is appropriate only after deep relationship and mutual trust have developed. Look for initiative and determination.
Level Four: Come and Multiply. This is the commissioned level (see Matt. 28:19, 20). Here, Jesus calls His men to reproduce what He did with them. Look for leadership and people skills.

Jesus Clarified-John 6:41-65

Jesus never pursued huge crowds. In fact, He often had to find ways to escape them! To do so, Jesus clarified the level of commitment He expected from followers. Two things always happen when a leader calls for commitment: He clarifies where people stand, and he purifies the organization.

Stephen Knew What to Stand For-Acts: 7:2-60 (positive)

Where did the commitment of Stephen come from? See the source of Stephen’s commitment by considering his words and sensing his attitude:

  1. He had the presence of God in his life.
  2. He based his commitment on a biblical foundation.
  3. He saw the error of past thinking.
  4. He spotted the resistance of the religious leaders.
  5. He kept his eyes on Jesus, the truth.
  6. He maintained his perspective.

Commitment moves past the mind and emotions and goes straight to the will. Commitment results when your mind and emotions move forward, whatever the cost.

Leaders cannot expect followers to make commitments deeper than the ones they make. To develop commitment, we must understand the following truths:

  1. Commitment starts in the heart. Commitment precedes achievement. Look inside: where is your heart committed?
  2. Commitment is tested by action. The only real measure of commitment is action. Talk is cheap; action is expensive.
  3. Commitment opens the door for accomplishment. Once you commit yourself, all kinds of resources come your way to help you succeed.
  4. Commitment can be measured.  Leaders must evaluate their calendars and checkbooks to measure their commitment.
  5. Commitment enables a leader to make decisions. Leaders must determine what’s worth dying for, then make that the basis for decisions.
  6. Commitment flourishes with public accountability. Go public with your commitments; then you’ll have incentive to follow through.

When Leaders Are Tested-Revelation 7:4-17

Tribulation always test a leader’s commitment level. Trouble doesn’t always make a leader become committed, but it does reveal his or her commitment. Unless leaders remain committed, they will be tempted to hesitate or withdraw in tough times. This is why leaders must begin with commitment, before they are tested.

Join me next time for Leadership Issues: Anointing.