Leadership Development and Process!
The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?
If we recognize that all authority, whether political or spiritual comes from God, we, as growing leaders determined to perform the perfect will of God for our lives, and the lives of those we lead, find ourselves, constantly, humbly, praying, seeking His face for wisdom, and studying to learn how to do things better
3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Down is Up in God’s Kingdom.
Seems that the heart of true leadership, is the call to honestly love and serve God’s people. As we grow in grace and humility, it is only so that we can do more to empower, equip, prosper, educate, disciple, heal, and love the people God has called us to lead.
Mark 9:35 The Voice (VOICE)
It is only natural for the disciples to wonder which of them will be His right-hand man. Even the three disciples who have just seen Jesus’ glory revealed in the transfiguration cannot resist the attraction of honor. After all, who has a better claim than they do to being the greatest of Jesus’ disciples?
Fortunately Jesus overhears what is said and is quick to respond in mercy to correct their mistake. Greatness in His eyes doesn’t consist of seeing wonders or performing miracles or even fasting and praying. Instead, greatness is about humility and service. These are the heart of the kingdom of heaven.
35 He sat down with the twelve to teach them.
Jesus: Whoever wants to be first must be last, and whoever wants to be the greatest must be the servant of all.
As I am reading, yet another book on leadership, learning, growing, developing, and allowing my weaknesses of character and understanding to be exposed, and rebuilt upon the impregnable foundation of the Word of God, I read this quote, that prompted the writing of this article.
‘A new moral principal is emerging which holds that only authority deserving one’s allegiance is that which is freely and knowingly granted by the led to the leader in response to, and in proportion to, the clearly evident servant stature of the leader. Those who choose to follow this principal will not casually accept the authority of existing institutions. Rather, they will freely respond only to individuals who are chosen as leaders because they are proven and trusted as servants.’
Servant Leadership, A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness, Robert K Greenleaf
Perhaps humility and servant-hood are new concepts in the business world, but they are not new to the kingdom of God. Seems that down is up in the kingdom, for God gives grace, that is power, authority, wisdom, and influence, to the humble…
2 Corinthians 8:9
You know the grace that has come to us through our Lord Jesus the Anointed. He set aside His infinite riches and was born into the lowest circumstance so that you may gain great riches through His humble poverty.
The riches of heaven come to us, because God, the Creator of Heaven and earth, not only humbled Himself to become a man, Christ Jesus, but then emptied Himself of every earthly rank, position, and privilege, and accepted a beggars death upon the cross, that the wrath, the judgment, the punishment each of us deserve, might be poured upon Himself. God within God, doing the infinite, that we, the finite, might be reconciled, to Him.
As leaders, we become shepherds, called of God to lead, feed, and protect God’s people, as they grow in their particular gifts and callings.
1 Peter 5: 2 When you shepherd the flock God has given you, watch over them not because you have to but because you want to. For this is how God would want it not because you’re being compensated somehow but because you are eager to watch over them. 3 Don’t lead them as if you were a dictator, but lead your flock by example; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will be crowned with honor that will shine brightly forever. 5 You who are younger in the faith: do as your elders and leaders ask. All of you should treat each other with humility, for as it says in Proverbs, God opposes the proud
but offers grace to the humble.[a] 6 So bow down under God’s strong hand; then when the time comes, God will lift you up. 7 Since God cares for you, let Him carry all your burdens and worries.
Humility is rarely a virtue that our culture values. We’re trained from an early age to show our strengths and hide our weaknesses. This type of thinking also spills over into our models of leadership, as we learn to dictate to others how they should perform.
Peter, however, says that we should be humble in our relationships with one another and not lead as dictators. In fact, this humility before one another and God is actually the position of the greatest strength. Our enemy desires to consume us, but we find strength to resist him when we are dependent upon God for His strength.
These verses bring me great comfort, as I daily prepare for the calling and task before me:
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
When I saw Sadhu Sundar Singh in Europe, he had completed a tour around the world. People asked him, Doesn’t it do harm, your getting so much honor?” The Sadhu’s answer was: “No. The donkey went into Jerusalem, and they put garments on the ground before him. He was not proud. He knew it was not done to honor him, but for Jesus, who was sitting on his back. When people honor me, I know it is not me, but the Lord, who does the job.”
Corrie Ten Boom, Each New Day
In the quote, that prompted this article, I am reminded of this verse:
Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
There is, I believe, a day of God’s power, an unveiling of a masterpiece, whereby God Himself, sets in the public eye, a leader that He may have been preparing secretly, for many decades. For those of us in that divine development process, this verse should again bring comfort:
1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
In order to be a leader a man must have followers. And to have followers, a man must have their confidence. Hence the supreme quality of a leader is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, on a football field, in an army, or in an office. If a man’s associates find him guilty of phoniness, if they find that he lacks forthright integrity, he will fail. His teachings and actions must square with each other. The first great need, therefore, is integrity and high purpose.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bits & Pieces, September 15, 1994, p. 4
There is a set time, and appointed time for the release of our gift into the earth. Perhaps, like me, you clearly see that the time is close, and appears to be, NOW! Yet, despite the incredible vision God has given you, and the personal promises He has spoken to you, the time, is yet for an appointed time.
King James Version (KJV)
2 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
Daily, we seek Him, set upon our watch, listening carefully for what He might speak to us, carefully documenting and writing the vision, yet though we press for it in faith, it is for an appointed time, and there is nothing we can do to make it happen any quicker, so, if we are wise, we diligently prepare…
Ps 105:16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.
17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
The very promises of God, spoken to your heart, are testing and trying you.
You are not testing the word of God – it is testing you!
Notice this verse though. Before Joseph was brought from the prison to the palace, the Sovereign judgments of God were in the earth. Joseph was tried, trained, and prepared in the brutal circumstances of an Egyptian prison, yet the hardness worked a work in Joseph, causing him to become a strong leader, in what for Egypt, were some brutal times.
Brutal times are again coming to the earth, in many nations. I think of my years as a missionary, working underground in a mine, on boats, in the competitive field of triathlon, in construction.
There have been tough times, brutal people and circumstances, hard things that have happened.
Yet, over the decades, in places often far from the comforts of the familiar, of family, of friends, I have met Jesus, and walked with Him, daily now, for many, many years.
As much as I love my family, my church, my country, and now this country I am called to, I love Jesus more, and know Him….He has been totally faithful, no matter what people or circumstances have done to me…He is faithful to you too!
‘Father, keep me focused upon my purpose, Your personal promises to me and my family. May I not become distracted, discouraged, dismayed as I stay in the press towards the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. May I lead, and develop as a servant leader, daily, determined to grow, develop, seek, hear, and walk in holiness, without compromise, flying straight and true, to the calling You have placed upon my life, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen!’