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Positive Leadership Looks Like Christ

Published on April 20, 2020


By Jon Gordon

Eight years ago, I watched with tears as my daughter walked toward a cross on the stage and gave her life to Jesus at an FCA Lacrosse Camp. My son would do the same at a UCLA FCA Tennis Camp a few years later. These life-changing moments came after my wife and I accepted then-President Les Steckel’s invitation to an FCA President’s Weekend.

I had just written a book called Training Camp, a fable about an undrafted rookie trying to make it in the NFL who finds faith. My goal at President’s Weekend was to meet FCA leaders and get them to take interest in my book, using it to connect with coaches and athletes.

God had other plans for me.

While keynote speaker Anne Graham Lotz spoke, my wife started to weep, and I heard God tell me, “You thought you were here for you; you came for her.” This was the beginning of a deeper, more loving relationship where God became the center of our marriage and family. And it was the beginning of a special relationship with FCA. Because of FCA, I discovered what positive leadership really looks like; it looks like Jesus, the greatest leader to ever walk the earth. Here are some traits of positive leaders.


In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), Jesus didn’t give His disciples a perfect set of plans. He shared a clear and compelling vision and mission and said, “I will be with you always.” Great leaders deal out hope. They inspire their teams to be on a mission while working toward a vision.


Jesus renamed Simon “Peter,” which means “rock,” because He saw what Peter would become. Jesus believed in Peter more than Peter believed in himself. Leadership is a transfer of belief, and Jesus transferred His belief to Peter. In the end, Peter lived up to the name Jesus gave him. Today, billions of people follow Jesus because of the man He called Rock, a disciple who modeled his actions after his teacher, the original Rock.


Jesus told His disciples, “Anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father,” (John 14:12). Talk about encouragement. Encourage means to put courage into someone. Jesus was clearly putting courage into His disciples. We can do the same when we encourage those we lead.


We all need a team to accomplish our vision and mission. Jesus turned the world upside down through the power of relationships. He built His team by investing deeply in the 12 who would go on to change the world.


Jesus said, “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world,” (1 John 4:4, NIV). He is letting us know that, as believers, the power of Christ in us is greater than the forces in the world against us. As a leader, you will face a lot of challenges and adversity. But remember: You possess the power to transform your circumstances and environment. Positive leadership begins with Jesus leading and living through us. Without FCA, I wouldn’t have fully understood this. I’m eternally grateful.

Prayer: Jesus, help me to model Your example and become a positive leader to everyone I influence. Amen.

jon-gordon-portraits-9173Jon Gordon’s best-selling books and talks have inspired readers and audiences around the world, and his principles have been put to the test by numerous clients. He is the author of 20 books and eight bestsellers. He has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, The Golf Channel, Fox and Friends and in numerous magazines and newspapers for his expertise in developing positive leaders, organizations and teams. He is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Masters in Teaching from Emory University. Connect with him at JonGordon.com.