I’ve been a leadership junkie for decades. Transitioning from corporate America, consulting, and motivational speaking to horse training wasn’t as difficult as it may seem at first blush, because the rules for success were the same.
The move from the horse industry to ministry was a bit more complicated, but I’ve discovered that the method Jesus used to “train up” His disciples is the perfect picture of leadership.
Leadership, horsemanship, and discipleship rest on the same foundations of selflessness, steadfastness, and commitment. Most people want something from others, whether the other is a person or a horse. Like shepherds to their flocks, leaders, horsemen, and disciple-makers don’t scheme to take, but purposefully offer something of value to others.
Leaders Have a Vision and a Plan
A leader is someone with a vision and a plan. Folks who brag that, “I am a leader”, generally aren’t. Followers create leaders. Once someone falls in behind another, the one in front becomes a leader.
Leaders have both a vision and a plan to attain it. Followers fall into one of two categories:
- They share the same vision but think that the leader has a better plan than their own, or
- They don’t have a vision but believe in their heart that anywhere this leader goes, they want to go, too.
- Leaders don’t make excuses, they make course corrections.
- If followers don’t eat, neither do leaders.
- Leaders are excellent stewards of everything; of what is their own and what is not.
- Promises made are few and well-considered.
- Every great leader submits to another leader. No one leads effectively unless he or she follows properly.
- Leaders bring justice and righteousness to every situation. There are no favorites, exceptions, or wink-and-nods. Rules apply to everyone; especially the one who makes them. 
The currency of leadership is trust; faith in his or her constancy and commitment. Leaders, horsemen, and disciple-makers don’t say, “Trust me” – they ARE trustworthy. The power of old habits, worldly common sense, and natural fear disappear in a soft voice that says, “Follow me.” 
Horses choose to follow a leader because it’s the safe, intelligent, and natural choice. Trust and faith are nearly synonymous. Earn the former and latter follows along like a duckling behind its mother.
Training horses is never about the trainer – it’s about the horse. The trainer must have a vision and a plan, but each step depends on where the horse is moment to moment.
Disciple-makers are leaders who reflect the face of Christ to those seeking a closer walk with Him. They have a vision and a plan that demonstrates the ways of the Kingdom of God.
To disciple, shepherd, or pastor is to lay down one’s life daily so that each individual who is willing to be lovingly instructed learns to obey Jesus’s instructions to His twelve.
This is done through easy yoking (covenanting) and light-burden bearing (agreed upon tasks).
How to identify the Leader
When trouble comes, the leader is the one everyone runs to.
 Hosea 2:19
 Matthew 9:9, John 8:12 and 10:4
- Inconsistent Horse Behavior – Multiple Personality Disorder
- The Upper Hoof – Who’s Top Dog in Your Barn
- Introduction to Christian Apologetics
Discipleship With Horses
The Gospel Horse Series for Leaders
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