Today we began teaching a series on ‘Kingdom Leadership’ at church. It’s an amazing, exciting, freeing topic to me. It’s amazing to see, all throughout scripture, that God uses the same ‘structure’ for leadership in every area of life. Whether it is a church, a family, a marriage…all of these relationships have ‘structure’ and the structure has the same key elements.
First, it is essential to understand that the main purpose of leadership is for the person(s) being led to grow and flourish. To be released to do or be all that God has designed them to. So many people have a bad view of leadership because leaders, at some point in their life have misused their authority for their own gain, and probably stepped on them in the process. True godly leadership should always be servant leadership and ‘other’ focused. It is never about getting one’s own way, or doing something for the purpose of selfish gain. We can see this model repeated over and over throughout scripture. Not only does it ‘work’, serving under godly leadership brings joy and fulfillment in the lives of those being led. In the next few posts, I will give examples from scripture of healthy, godly leadership in different life settings.
Throughout the course of life, most, if not every person will walk in the role of both ‘leader’ and ‘follower’ in some manner. When we understand the privilege and responsibility of leadership, we come to value those who lead and have authority in our lives, and we ourselves become both better leaders and followers. Whether you are leading a team, a family, a company, or a church, God gives us excellent guidelines of what it means and looks like to lead, and they are principles that apply in all settings. And if you are following, God also gives us an understanding of how that is a blessing designed for our own benefit, and how we can and should best respond to those leaders in our lives.
The first example of leadership that I want to highlight from scripture can be found in the very, very beginning… Genesis 1. In this first chapter of Genesis we see God creating all the universe, and handing over the privilege and responsibility of ruling the creation to Adam and Eve. They were told to take ‘dominion’ over the earth…in order to make it flourish and grow and reproduce. God’s intent was never for them to rule it in a way that would destroy, crush or suppress his creation. And thus, we see God’s blueprint for all leadership. Cultivate that which was already there, in order to bring forth life. This is, or should be, at it’s most basic level, the goal of any type of leadership.
We see the same type of leadership modeled for us in the relationship of Jesus to his Heavenly Father. Jesus said he only did what he saw his Father doing (John 5:19), he wished for the difficult cup of facing crucifixion to pass from him, yet said “Not my will, but Yours be done…” (Luke 22:42), and we see in Philippians 2 that Jesus humbled himself to come to earth, taking the role of a servant, not considering himself ‘equal’ with his Father (choosing to take the role of submission to his Father’s authority). But what we see in this, was that Jesus, by coming under his Father’s authority, was in turn actually endowed with all authority to be able to minister and accomplish his purposes in the earth. His Father’s intent was not to ‘use’ Jesus for his own ‘gain’, but rather, to partner with him, to equip him with all he would need, for Jesus to accomplish his goal and purpose on the earth…that of redeeming all of creation!!
Take some time to think about those that God has placed in leadership or authority in your life, in order for you to flourish and walk out your destiny!
(Next post: God’s Leadership Model in Parenting)