In the great commission, Jesus commands us to “therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19. The more I research the foundations of leadership theory and witness the need for leaders in Christ-centered organizations, the more convinced I am that Kerusso is meeting the great commission directly. By our expansion into the nations, we are part of going therefore and making disciples. The prime example to prove my thesis is a leadership development moment between Jesus and his disciples.

The crux of Kerusso’s leadership philosophy is based on Matthew 20:24-28. After the mother of James and John asked Jesus if her sons could sit at his right and left hand in the coming kingdom, the Bible says “when the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus uses a silly argument stated by James and John’s mother to create a leadership development moment for his disciples. But also, Jesus is strengthening his disciples’ faith at the same time. Regarding leadership, Jesus is teaching the disciples that effective leadership is not what the world thinks it is – the abuse of power and privileges, but instead it is having the heart of a servant. Along with this leadership development moment, Jesus is challenging their faith by once again reminding them they He is going to die. In this moment, he was preparing them for a life of leadership in which he would not be physically present. During this time, they would be tempted to wield power and act like the world in order to gain power and influence inside the group.

In Francis Chan’s book Multiply he writes that “the word disciple refers to a student or apprentice. Disciples in Jesus’s day would follow their rabbi (which means teacher) wherever he went, learning from the rabbi’s teaching and being trained to do as the rabbi did. Basically, a disciple is a follower, but only if we take the term follower literally. Becoming a disciple of Jesus is as simple as obeying His call to follow.” The participants Kerusso serves are followers and they are learners. Kerusso bases it’s leadership development on biblical principles, therefore, the “rabbi” is teaching these participants what it means to be a leader in the Kingdom of God.By developing as leaders, they are strong and courageous and have to face similar trials like Peter, James, John, and the other disciples.

Why is this important? For many reasons, but what I want you to see today is that by praying for and giving to Kerusso, you are part of the great commission. Our role in the nations is to develop leaders who in turn make disciples of all nations. The great part is that these disciples go out and develop even more leaders so our movement multiplies exponentially and impacts people all around the world.