Love you all, praying for you!
God is really challenging me lately. In a recent Daily Huddle – Bolt, Bannister or Kipchoge – we spoke of the value system of God, that is so different from the value system of man. What man values is often not viewed or valued the same by God. His thoughts and His ways are so much higher than ours. His focus is different. Have you ever focused on something that you wanted, but found that what you focused on – didn’t really bring what you wanted? God has been challenging me recently on something very highly valued by man. Leadership. We respect leaders, we teach our children to be leaders – I have… We write books on leaders, we celebrate leaders, and we have many definitions of what leadership is - perhaps as many as the books written about it, or the quotes that present it. “Lead, Follow, or Get out of the way!” What does that really mean? And what does it imply? What value system does it represent? What is leadership? Some people say – the ability to get things done through people. Some people say – it’s the ability to get people to follow you. The power to get people to do what you want them to do. Is that really leadership? Who were the greatest leaders? George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, General George Patton, Napoleon, Alexander the Great? For every Winston Churchill, there’s also an Adolf Hitler. Is leadership really the number of followers you have, or what you conquer or defend? And is leadership – what God wants us to pursue? Is a leader measured by the number of their followers? If that were so… after three years of ministry on earth – after healing the sick, raising the dead, speaking to the wind and the waves, and feeding thousands of people with a little boy’s lunch, Jesus stood before Pilate alone – not one follower stood with him. Even when He ascended into Heaven – only 120 people were in the upper room – and that included his mom, and sisters. Do followers really determine the greatness of a leader? And if you have the power to pull out their finger nails – does that mean Mao Tse Tung was a great leader? We respect people who lead – who accomplish things through people – who get people to do things they want. But does God respect leaders like we do? Does He want His people pursuing leadership skills and leadership development – like we always do? John Maxwell said “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” I think there must be truth in that sentence because I just find it hard to find anything great that has happened in human history – without leadership – someone had to start it. But if everything rises and falls on leadership… what does leadership rise and fall on? Who was the greatest leader of all time? Of the few we named, and dozens of world leaders like them throughout history, every single one of them is dead. The greatest leader of all time – and it’s not even a contest – Jesus Christ. Hitler’s followers, Mao’s followers, Napoleon’s followers are long gone – just like they are. But Jesus Christ remains, He is alive – witnessed by over 500 in person after His resurrection. And His followers span the globe to this day – they have died for Him, they live for Him – just like He lived and died for them. And no one is making them follow – Jesus never put anyone in prison who didn’t follow him – or try to kill them – nor do his followers. Those who follow Him follow voluntarily, His message of life is still the same as it was 2000 years ago. He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and God said – of His Kingdom there will be no end. Mic Drop - Greatest leader of all time. He is the Creator of the universe, the Almighty God – who gave his life for sinners – which is what you and I were. It’s not even a contest. Jesus Christ – the greatest leader in human history – and for all of eternity.
So I was left with a couple questions. If He was the greatest leader of all time – how much value did Jesus place on leadership. Wouldn’t He want us to be great leaders too? It kind of puzzled me – the greatest leader of all time - How come He didn’t say – “Follow me, and I will make you leaders of men?” Why did He not say “Go into all the world, and make leaders?” How come He didn’t say “If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, learn to be a leader of all?” The leadership that Jesus taught, was different than the leadership that men teach… In fact – if one would take an honest look - Jesus did not teach leadership, so why is leadership so often taught by businesses and churches today – in books and seminars and training. Even churches teach man’s principles of leadership. How much of this did Jesus teach? What was Jesus leadership training for his Disciples? The Be-attitudes? Do you know what is puzzling to me? I looked in the New Testament (KJV) – and searched the word “leadership” – zero hits. You mean the greatest leader of all time – didn’t teach His disciples – leadership? Then I searched the word “leader” – zero hits. And then I searched the word “lead” - 13 hits – But every one pertained to God leading us – or the wicked leading wickedly – with only one of the 13 - an instruction to the body of Christ to lead. I Timothy 2:2 … that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and purity. Wow. That surprised me. So does leadership have no place or value if we are Christ followers? Or is it that Kingdom of God leadership is not like man’s leadership in either form, or purpose? God doesn’t value things the same way that man values. It becomes apparent - Jesus didn’t spend his time training His disciples to be leaders. Why? It wasn’t the priority of His life, so it wasn’t the priority of His teaching. Most of Jesus comments on leadership – were to contrast God’s Way versus Man’s Way. Matthew 20:25 – Jesus called them together and said, “You know that that rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant. On another occasion, Jesus again revealed the false priority of leadership. Matthew 15:14 – Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a ditch. Isaiah mentioned leadership - Isaiah 9:16 - For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed. Leadership in the wrong direction is clearly of no value – it’s of negative value. Proverbs 21:22 - A wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust. Here these great leaders conquer and build a city – and one wise man brings down all their leadership to nothing. So should believers in Christ not be leaders?
Who was Jesus - a leader or a follower? Without question, He was a follower. He said it time after time – I only do what my Father tells me to do. John 8:38 - So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The focus of Jesus entire life – was following, not leading. He followed His Heavenly Father – that’s it. And yet – He was and is the greatest leader of all time. Why? Because He wasn’t focused on leading – he was consumed with following - and leadership followed (a by-product, never a pursuit). He didn’t teach people to lead – He taught them to follow – and in doing so – they lead others to do so as well. Paul said – I Corinthians 11:1 – Be followers of me – even as I am of Christ. Jesus said “Follow me – let the dead bury the dead, you follow me.” He said, “Sell what you have and give to the poor – then come and follow me.” He said the greatest in Heaven aren’t leaders – they are servants – He wasn’t after leaders – He was after disciples - followers! That’s why He said make disciples – teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. So is this just symantics? Word play? The Word of God seems to indicate otherwise. Praying for you that you wouldn’t aspire to leadership – that your goal wouldn’t be to be a great leader, but a great follower. That your life would be consumed like Jesus was – with humble obedience to your Heavenly Father. That’s where the joy comes from, It’s what God desires in your life. It’s how He can lead you into all the good that He has planned for you!
What is leadership? Leader: One who goes first. Lead: To guide or conduct by showing the way, to introduce by going first. (Not getting people to do what you them to do) Isn’t it funny. Most people think leaders tell people what to do. They want people to do things for them, to help them accomplish things for them. But God’s truth - like always is just opposite of man’s way. Leadership alone doesn’t hold value – you can be leading people astray. Learn to follow – and you’ll become a great leader. The Kingdom of God is full of paradox – a tenet or proposition contrary to common belief – seemingly absurd, but true in fact. For example: Give and it shall be given to you. Proverbs 11:24 - One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. You get more, not by taking but by giving. Seems absurd but it’s true. Matthew 16:25 - For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. I Peter 5:6 - Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time He may exalt you. God’s Kingdom is full of paradox. Give and you will receive, lose and you will find, humble yourself and you will be exalted. You go down to go up. In God’s Kingdom – follow and you will lead, serve and you will be great. The more you learn to follow – the greater the leader you will become. Praying that you will become a follower!
Praying that you will never miss PiVAT before dinner – It’s follower training. He will tell you what He wants you to do today– so just like Jesus – you only do what your Heavenly Father leads you to do. He is the leader – we are just followers. He doesn’t need leaders – He needs followers – and He will Lead Through You! Praying that PRISM throughout the day will be your priority. In His presence – where your mind is transformed and your thoughts become His thoughts – so your ways become His ways. PRISM helps your PiVAT make sense. Praying that your Daily Call will be your life-long habit – that you will never have a week where you are not walking with someone. They will see how you follow – and they will follow Him like you – that’s true leadership. Making Disciples who obey what Jesus commands them – is following like Jesus – so you lead like Jesus. Follow first – and you will lead. If your priority is to follow – like Jesus priority was… God will lead others – through your example. Follow to Lead – it’s the thing that brings the thing. The greatest thing you could ever lead in – is obedience. Helping others obey what God has for them (the Good that He has in store for them) – as they hear and see what He is doing for you! Praying that you will follow to follow – not follow to lead – that you will let God lead through you – so He gets all the glory! Your joy will be unspeakable – and full of His glory!
Love you all,
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