Jesus walked up to the fishermen and said, “Come follow me and I will send you out to fish for people” (Matthew 4:19, NIV). They dropped their nets and followed Him. He met a woman at a well and said follow Me and you “will never thirst” again. She dropped her water jar and ran to get all of her neighbors (see John 4). History repeatedly has shown that people are hunger for something larger than themselves. Leaders who offer that will have no shortages of followers. In fact, higher purpose is such a vital ingredient to the human needs that the Scripture says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV).
Studies show that people will work harder and longer on projects when they understand the overall significance of their individual contribution. There was one experiment done to airplane workers. They were divided into two groups: Group 1 simply did what they were told to do, while group 2 were taken to the engineering lab and shown how their particular pieces were part of a magnificent jet that would fly higher and faster than any jet had ever flown before. Without any additional incentive, group 2 members’ productivity soared. They knew how important their contribution was to a larger plan.
When I was a teenager, I always wanted to climb a high wall in the neighborhood to steal some fruits. It wasn’t that high but not short either. One day, an angry dog chasing me and with a jolt of power, miraculously I climbed the wall effortlessly! I’ve read about a skinny mother in the newspaper who suddenly have a superhuman strength to lift a big motorbike off a fallen child during an accident. And about a young man who leaps into flames to save a kid. These events may seem extraordinary and dramatic but they demonstrate an important fact: When we are called to do something beyond our known capabilities when we’re forced to do our best – a sudden energy comes to our aids. Leaders can tap into this potential by showing others the long-lasting significance of what they are doing.
Jesus clearly and consistently conveyed to His disciples the significance of what they were doing. He spoke long and often about the calling, mission, and vision of God’s Kingdom and they could feel and know the long-lasting benefits of their work with and for Him. They were making an eternal difference in the lives of many people. They were serving God for something beyond themselves. Every one of us has this deep human need in us that requires purpose and vision of something larger than ourselves. Jesus – and as leaders, we should – gave His followers God-kingdom’s vision.
As a Leader, What is Your Higher Vision?
How Can You Communicate this Vision to Your Followers?
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.