We are more comfortable making followers than leaders.
Jesus recruited followers but developed leaders.
As spoken before in many dialogues/blogs, there is a byproduct of hurt and pain that leaves its imprint on people, groups and organizations. The insensitivity and lack of remorse in relationship both secular and spiritual cause the receiver of the hurts to suffer long after the encounter. Relationships are built on a layer of trust which is sealed by loyalty.
1. Broken Bonds Heal Like Broken Bones
Speaking with leadership, the existence of scars and wounds are revealed. Though masked and treated with Coco Butter and Alovera, the pain and hurt of broken relationship have left visually faint scars that don’t properly represent the depth of the prior injury. While the parting of ways is par for the course the manner in which they occur can be drastic.
One can imagine the hurt Moses felt when he descended, not just seeing the people had begun to worship a false idol, but that Aaron had taken his place in leadership; if only for a brief moment. One can imagine the anger he felt when he charged Aaron up about leading his people and allowing himself to be influenced into sin himself by the people. As he threw the tablets down, he broke the very stones that had been inscribed by the hand of the Lord in anger of what Aaron and the people did in his absence.
What happens to the Aarons in our lives? What happens to those who betray you? How we manage these relationship are key. Do they heal properly? For most; NO! They are like broken bones. As I learned through my child who had a broken arm, bones must be set properly to heal, and if misaligned will be both stunted in growth and not function properly. Further discussions revealed:
Creating Leaders Redistributes Power
The redistribution of power is a challenge every leader and organization must face. At points in ones existence or in the life of an organization, the blessing of growth, and the challenge of change require more to design, manage to lead what exist and what is projected to come. Moses too found himself in this position. As one having the majority of the power, he found himself overwhelmed by the responsibility of making all the decisions, big and small, and staying in touch with God to continue directing the path of the Israelite. One stay with his father in law would change his perspective.
Though Moses was not hogging the power selfishly, he held it and accepted the full responsibility that came along with it for the betterment of the people and to insure that the vision of God was carried out among His people. Moses understood that he was selected to lead, and while God referred to them as Moses’s people when He was angered and disappointment with them, Moses was not foolish enough to believe the people belonged to him, nor did the power. He was a shepherd and a manager whose job is was to lead in the best manner possible. The challenge we face today is the lack of knowledge and acceptance of the truth Moses understood. We now believe that the Sheep belong to us, and this is flawed.
Much like those before us, we are placed in a field to manage and care for that which we have no ownership of. Our job is to protect, lead and to feed those whom God has assigned us to look over. Moses understood this from his prior assignment, and understood that Creating Leaders would make him a more effective leader not a less powerful leader. It would give him the time to spend with God that would allow them to in turn benefit from his intimate relationship and spot on directions. This leads us into further understanding:
Developing Leaders Creates Competition
In the race to have the biggest flock, many have ceased to think Kingdom, and have adopted our countries Capitalistic focus. It’s not longer about the guarding and feeding of the sheep, but about the collection of the sheep and the blessing of having access to their wool that many some have placed as a “muy importante!”
The race to numbers has lead to the development of a mindset that is contrary to the Gospel. It has caused us to be hyper focused on numbers, finding validation in the knowledge that we are respected by and meeting the approval of other men/women of God. Though not called by them, their validation has become the idolized. To some, it is the voice of a peer saying servant well done that has replaced the goal of standing before the master and receiving His stamp of approval.
The need of numbers means that the Kingdom must grow between the walls of a specific house. This causes leadership to focus solely on the portion given to them, often willing only to nourish that which directly benefits what they have been given to manage. Keeping competition down has become a focus, as the craft or brotherhood for some has become like some sects that protect trade secrets.
One of the fears articulated during my discussions is one I found when at an internship in grad school. I had volunteered to work with the kids summer camp program at the church I was attending. While on break during a training, a leader said to me, “You know what we hate about you seminarians? We train you, and then you take what you have learned from us and leave?” I know you are thinking, “Where is the Kingdom Mindset?” Furthermore, I was free labor!!!!!!!! I digress, this wasn’t the statement from the top man/woman, but does represent a train of thought that exist! There are some that are not concerned with sharing power within their fold, but won’t place forth an effort that might be used to build another mans house. Leaders must be comfortable with the possibility of that a leaders could leave.
Our model, Jesus, had an advantage that we don’t have. His ministry, 3 years, was set and structured to be passed on to the hands of those following Him. He was training leaders from the beginning and even laid His hands on a successor (loosely used). Because of this, He trained them not just in word but in work sending them out with power into the town two by two, planting them into fields to work the harvest that was plentiful, sending them to tend the sheep among the wolves, teaching them what the take, and even how to receive rejection. He gave them His power, and the ability to speak in His name that His will might be done. He carefully vetted them, spending time with them, pouring His Spirit in them, and trusted that even in their humanity, the power and presence of Him in their lives would guide them not only to speak the truth but to live a life of righteousness that would bring glory to God the Father!
All in all, the Kingdom of God will not be stopped. It will continue to advance! It will overcome challenges. It will shine brighter and stand up to false teachings and false prophets. The light shinned from the righteous will be sustained by the power working from within! This generation must fight the notion of Kingship, acknowledging that there is only one throne, one that none, save one, is worthy to sit upon. We are Shepherds, not Kings. We are exalted by man because God holds us up before a lost and dying world and speaks His truth through us. It is His revelation inspires, and His anointing on us that breaks the yolk, while His Spirit calls and convicts those He leads our way. Our job is to build His Kingdom and not kingdoms of our own. Keeping this focus will allow us to bring glory to the Father and to bring truth to the world.