Follow The Leader: Re-defining Church Leadership from the Gospel of John


As a “recovering” 3-B pastor on my way to becoming a Christ-centered 3-C contempltaive activist, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to totally re-define successful ‘leadership’ in the twenty-first century church. My sense is that we have borrowed our definitions for successful leadership more from the world of corporate America than from the New Testament itself. In truth, a successful leader in today’s church looks much more like a corporate CEO or top-level business manager than they do a New Testament shepherd, steward or humble overseer of God’s people.

I invite you to join me for a blog series I’m calling Follow the Leader: Re-defining Successful Leadership from the Gospel of John, and I’m asking you to return once again to the ancient words of the New Testament. My goal will not be to do a line-by-line devotional study of John’s Gospel, but to offer you a series of blogs commenting on various sections of John’s text where the focus, in my mind, is on the original disciples (future overseers of the church) as they interact with Jesus. As I see it, if we’re looking for ways to move away from the 21st century corporate approach to church life in America, re-defining ‘successful Christian leadership’ in the process, the Gospels would be the best place to begin and end such a pursuit.


Below, you will find a complete list of all 46 blogs in our series through the Gospel of John. We suggest you bookmark this Follow The Leader home page for ease of use. Enjoy!

An Introduction.

Session 1 The One & Only Leader. Part I. (John 1: 15, 29-31)

Session 2 The One & Only Leader. Part II. (John 1: 32-34)

Session 3 NT Leadership Model: “Come See For Yourself.” (John 1: 35-46)

Session 4 Entrusting My Life to Whom? (John 2: 23-25)

Session 5 Welcoming the God-Light. (John 3: 1-3, 9-12, 19-21)

Session 6 So Who Made This Into a Competition? (John 3: 22-30)

Session 7 Jesus’ Ministry: Head and Shoulders Above the Others. (John 3: 31-36)

Session 8 Doing Ministry by the Numbers. (John 4: 1-3)

Session 9 Jesus and His Twelve Stooges. (John 4: 4a-8, 27-35)

Session 10 Telling It To Us Straight. (John 5: 17-20)

Session 11 An Empty, Self-Serving Witness. (John 5: 30-38)

Session 12 Missing the Forest for the Trees. (John 5: 39-44)

Session 13 There’s Something Fishy About Following Jesus. (John 6: 1-13)

Session 14 A Tale of Earthly Kings. (John 6: 14-15)

Session 15 I AM the Bread of Life. Part One. (John 6: 35-40)

Session 16 I AM the Bread of Life. Part Two. (John 6: 60-69)

Session 17 It Isn’t Me, Is It, Lord? (John 6: 70-71)

Session 18 I AM the World’s Light. Part One. (John 8: 12)

Session 19 I AM the World’s Light. Part Two. (John 9: 1-5)

Session 20 I AM the World’s Light. Part Three. (John 9: 39-41)

Session 21 I AM the Gate for the Sheep. (John 10: 1-10)

Session 22 I AM the Good Shepherd. (John 10: 11-18)

Session 23 I AM Real & Eternal Life. Part One. (John 11: 21-26)

Session 24 I AM Real & Eternal Life. Part Two. (John 12: 24-26)

Session 25 Approval: The Cold, Hard Currency of Life. (John 12: 36-43)

Session 26 Servanthood-Part One. Put On An Apron. (John 13: 1-4)

Session 27 Servanthood-Part Two. One Towel or Two? (John 13: 5-9)

Session 28 Servanthood-Part Three. Setting the Standard. (John 13: 10-17)

Session 29 In Jesus’ Absence…Love. (John 13: 33-35)

Session 30 Promises. Promises. Promises. (John 13: 36-38)

Session 31 I AM the Road. (John 14: 1-7)

Session 32 So How Does Jesus Measure Success? (John 14: 15, 21, 23, 28, 31)

Session 33 Jesus Is The Vine. I Am the Twig. (John 15: 1-8)

Session 34 The Fruit-Bearer’s Secret Recipe. (John 15: 9-17)

Session 35 This Is Not Going To Be Easy, Folks. (John 15: 18-27)

Session 36 Learning to Defer to the Spirit. (John 16: 4-15)

Session 37 Name & Claim vs. Defer & Ask. (John 16: 23-24, 32-33)

Session 38 Where Is The Mature Oneness? (John 17: 20-23)

Session 39 The Center of All Time. (John 19: 28-30)

Session 40 Jesus is Alive! So Now It Begins. (John 20: 19-23)

Session 41 For Those Who Will Believe Without Seeing. (John 20: 24-31)

Session 42 Let’s Go Fishing With Jesus. (John 21: 1-14)

Session 43 Jesus’ Simple Two-Pronged Commission. (John 21: 15-19)

Session 44 Focus, Pete! Focus! (John 21: 20-25)

Session 45 Leadership vs. Followership. And So We Close. Part One.

Session 46 Leadership vs. Followership. And So We Close. Part Two.

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