Friday, December 31, 2010


Fourthly all true disciples of Jesus Christ LEAD. For anyone to believe that they are not a leader of someone, they are mistaken. For all of us have someone watching us and looking to us to see how we live, react, behave, perform, etc. Oh not that they are all watching for us to mess up (although some are), but even if it’s the person taking your money at the convenience store, how we interact with and treat the world around us, speaks volumes as to how we take our leadership seriously.

In other words, we must be vigilant about our lives and behavior, because we INFLUENCE more than just ourselves. I believe it was John Maxwell who capitalized on the idea that leadership is influence. If that’s true, then we ALL influence someone, somehow, someway, sometime; therefore we’re all leaders from time to time. It’s inescapable.

Jesus was very serious about leading others. He was equally serious about leading others down the right or the wrong path. And one does not have to be pushing dope to be leading someone down the wrong path. If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and you mistreat others, you may be causing them to go down a wrong path. Ever heard of the term “misleading”?

Most of the time that term is linked to spurious sales techniques and even to some televangelists, but think about that word; misleading. Or could we say leading-amiss?

Before we get too far into this thought on leadership, we need to delineate the two directions of leadership. That’s right, ultimately there are only two directions one can be led. Up or down, left or right, black or white, heaven or hell, the Kingdom of God or the kingdom of darkness.

Oh I know you may think that most of life is lived in the gray areas or the margins, but ultimately everything leads in one direction or another. Cosmos polarity IS a reality. And Jesus was very clear about the risks we all run when it comes to influencing others because of our magnetism one direction or another. And ambivalence to this divine polarity is ABSOLUTELY condemned (Revelation 3:15-16). So pick a side buddy!

In Matthew 5 and 18 Jesus teaches very plainly about offenses. But so often we miss the real crux of the matter, for the onus of offense is upon the one who should by now know better. What? That’s right, the one whose been exposed to and embraced the truth so as to taste a measure of life.

In other words: “Woe to you who should know better by now”. If we by our very example cause anyone (especially the weaker or younger in the faith) to digress, it would be better for us to be placed into cement overshoes and be tossed into the Des Moines River, than to have caused one of these little ones to stray from trust in Christ.

I have at least a dozen books on Leadership in my personal library. The authors are diverse, but the emphasis is the same. The question I have to ask myself is; does reading books on the subject of Leadership make me a better leader? And the answer IS NOT necessarily.

For leading is not so much about skills at using a “carrot on the end of a stick” as it is about the internal replication of truth. People are rarely (except in countries of tyranny) led by the stick. Most often people are led by a carrot.

The Bible is very clear that the “carrot on the end of a stick” IS NOT biblical in its approach as motivation. “Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.” (Deuteronomy 25:4; 1 Corinthians 9:9; 1 Timothy 5:18 – KJV)

Eventually the carrot must be received or the power of deception is the simple and only motivation to keep going. We keep reaching out to chomp the carrot but never get our teeth sunk in.

Leadership MUST be about what IS working for us, and if we EVER use false results or motivation to move anyone along our agendas – that IS sin. Grievous sin when it comes to God and us.

So what about your leadership? What IS your motivation in seeking to control or influence those around you? Is it selfish? (James 4:1-5) You’ve got to answer that question, because the Fourth Common Denominator of All True Disciples of Jesus Christ is Leadership. I’m not sure who coined the phrase; but it’s pretty good. “Lead, follow, or get out of the way!” Because ultimately YOU DO influence others… and you will be held accountable for the direction you lead them.

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