Jesus is a Friend.
There is no doubt that the Bible is about redemption. The God of the universe sending His only begotten son to a wicked earth that turned against him. Jesus, God wrapped in flesh, came to be the sacrifice needed to satisfy the Fathers wrath. His walked amongst mankind for 33 years and then returned to His father having completed redemption. Though Jesus came for redeeming mankind, He also established and modeled true friendship. Now the Gospels and Acts records the friendships Jesus. You can see how Jesus treated people, made friends, and brought people close to his heart. It is in light of all of this that I want to share with you 5 qualities of a friendly leader.
1. They Ask Questions
Jesus was the type of person that would ask questions. Often times, if he were with disciples he would ask tough questions that would reach their hearts. ‘Who do you say that I AM?’ “What do you seek?’. If you want to be a good leaders model this friendly quality of Jesus. Ask Questions to those whom you serve, work for, in your family, in your relationships. Don’t assume you know everything about them or their situation. Asking questions is the key to hearing the heart of people. People enjoy leaders who ask questions.
2. They Are Intentional
We have all heard the story of the woman at the well (John 4). Jesus meeting a woman who was drawing water and he tells her to draw him some water. She then challenges his statement with a questions and probably some attitude. They continue on with a conversation that forever changes her life. Jesus was always intentionally friendly. When you are intentional you are operating out of a place of sincerity. When you sincerely go out of your way to meet someone, talk to someone no one is talking to, text someone to encourage them, or even call someone you haven’t spoken with for awhile you’re building a bridge. This bridge is that on friendship. And I often quote Jeanne Mayo when it come to bridge building, “Friendship is the paved highway that the Holy Spirit will most often travel on.”
3. They Are Genuine
Jesus was the epitome of a genuine leader. In the larger context of his life in the gospels you can see the consistency in this area. There was no hidden motive, just genuine love and friendship. His desire was to draw people closer to him. He desired friendship with humanity! What ever leadership role you and I play, we have to understand that leadership that is only about a task and not about friendship isn’t friendship at all. Strive to be a Jesus kind of leader, who invited those who were following him closer for the purpose of genuine friendship.
4. They Change People
Those who chose friendship with Jesus were forever changed. Changed by his love, kindness, intentionality, and care. They went from being just fisherman to fishers-of-men. This kind of transformation didn’t take long it happened quickly. When you are around people what you value becomes what they value. What you are rubs off on them. “When people with different values hang out together, somebody ULTIMATELY CHANGES.” Jeanne Mayo.
5. They are Frog Kissers
Jesus was the BEST at this. Not obviously I am not talking about literal frogs but much like the story of the princess and the frog, Jesus seen the royalty in people and “kissed them with encouragement and truth.” Encouragement wrapped in truth is one of the most dynamic tools in a leader’s repertoire. Friendly leaders are encouragers. They search for things to encourage people in. They are builders of people not themselves. If you want to get the best OUT of a person, you must always look for the best IN the person.