Matthew 9:35–10:1 is a story about Jesus sending out his disciples to evangelize the world. It begins with Jesus acting alone and ministering to the crowds and ends with him empowering his disciples to do the very same thing. What Jesus does in the middle verses of the passage serves as a model for empowering others to lead.
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. (emphasis added)
Woven into the story are the steps Jesus took in empowering his disciples.
“Jesus went…he saw…he had compassion.”
Jesus took the initiative and “went through all the towns and villages, teaching…preaching…healing.” He was an active, self-motivated, and life-changing leader. Jesus saw the crowds. He cared about them and was moved to take action. Jesus accepted responsibility for helping those who needed him.
Seek out the problems and opportunities in your sphere of influence. Be proactive. Go to where things are happening, and spend time with your coworkers and customers.
The first step toward empowering others to lead is to be an engaged and influential leader yourself.
“He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority.”
After going to his people, seeing their needs, and being moved to take action, Jesus turned to his disciples. He could have solved the people’s problems himself, but he chose to empower his disciples to help.
Jesus was a leader who raised up other leaders, and this is the key to the passage.
Jesus called his disciples to him. He would be their equipper, not someone else. He gave his disciples the authority to act in his behalf.
Jesus did not equip everyone. He only equipped the few who were ready. He called the few and then empowered them to follow his example.
The best leaders equip others by teaching the teachable and sending them out to become leaders themselves.
If God has blessed you with the ability to lead, use your gift to empower others. Remember Ephesians 4:12 which says God gives you his gifts “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (NKJV).
Be the leader who empowers others to lead.