4 Principles of Leadership with Joby Martin

4 Key Principles of Leadership by Joby Martin

We had the opportunity to have Joby Martin lead a main session at the Sticky Teams Conference in San Diego last October. If you’ve never heard Joby, you have to check out one of his online sermons – he uses a mix of humor, honesty and authenticity to portray the Gospel in an extraordinarily unique, yet approachable way.

Here’s a little bit about Joby…

Joby Martin founded The Church of Eleven22 in September of 2012 and it is recognized as one of the fastest growing churches in America. In addition to working with Eleven22, Joby is also involved in the Exponential Church Planting Conferences and active in the Acts 29 Network. He lives in Florida with his wife Gretchen and two kids.

During Joby’s first session at Sticky Teams, he gave a very candid message about four key principles of leadership according to Matthew 20:17-34

1. Learn How to Rest – If you want to make your ministry a marathon and not a sprint, you need to learn to sit at the feet of Jesus.

Joby states, “We were created to rest. I believe God made us with the need to rest so that we would remember our uttermost dependence on Him. We need to remember that the fourth commandment is the “hinge” commandment in the Bible. The first three commandments are about loving God and the last five are about loving each other. But the fourth commandment, remember the Sabbath and keep it holy, is what all the commandments hinge upon. We need to keep this commandment and rest in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God’s view of you doesn’t change depending on how well your church is running. And because God’s view of you never changes, you can actually rest and not get caught up in the performance. If you use your ministry to validate yourself before Jesus than you will die under that weight.”

Rested leaders do the following:

  1. Get into a rhythm
  2. Eat well
  3. Sleep enough
  4. Love their spouses
  5. Love their children
  6. Have actual friends
  7. Have a life outside of church


2. Have the Ability to Endure Pain – The level of leadership you are able to obtain is proportionate to the level of pain that you can endure.

Joby states, “Just look at the Bible, so many examples of leaders that experienced painful lives. Paul was the best example of a leader that was willing to endure pain – he took everything that the world gave him and turned it to the glory of Christ. If you want to be pain-free, don’t go into ministry! I love what Chuck Swindoll says, ‘When God has an impossible task to accomplish, He finds an impossible person and crushes them, so leave room in your life for your crushing. In every great work of God brokenness and failure are necessary.’ ”

3. Submission to Spiritual Authority – Submission isn’t submission until you disagree.

Joby explains himself by stating, “Even in the Godhead there is mutual submission. Jesus checks with God the Father before doing what He thinks He should do. We are all under authority and we need to make Jesus the functional Senior Pastor of our churches. I have to remember the people God has placed in my care are ultimately His sheep, not mine. According to Philippians 2 our attitude should be the same as the attitude of Jesus Christ… ‘who, being in very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!’ ”

We will never receive authority until we’ve learned to submit to all of God’s ordained authority.”

 4. Do you see yourself as a leader that serves or a servant that gets to lead?  Jesus primarily saw himself as a servant that had an opportunity to lead.

Joby explains, “This is how it plays out – you must be concerned more about how your people are doing than what your people are doing. There will be a time when we stand before the God of the universe and we will be accountable for the people we lead. No one wants to be an extra in the epic adventure about your life! Do you really think that they all exist so that you can do ministry? Or do you truly think you exist to serve them?

The Bible talks about leadership a lot and the primary illustration it uses is that of a Shepherd – someone who loves and leads his sheep. We tend to walk away from shepherding people and instead act like cowboys who count numbers to drive our herds. Shepherd’s protect their sheep and lay down their lives for them. Cowboys protect their investments. Shepherds feed and care for sheep and lead them to water, while Cowboys fatten the cows for profit. Shepherds really love their sheep while Cowboys love their image. The Bible calls us to be shepherds.”

In closing, Joby encourages us to truly ask ourselves if we are leaders that are worth following. Are we living out the principles in Matthew 20, or are we basing our leadership success on the functionally of our churches?

Listen to the full version of Joby’s message below. If you want to learn more about “Leading Well”, then register for Sticky Teams 2016 in Lancaster, PA – April 18-19 or Charlotte, NC – May 2 -3. Register here.

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