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Mastering the Marketplace


Trains of Thought: LEADERSHIP

If you are a political ideologue, this post is NOT for you. But for those of us who are looking around at the circus of discussions taking place and wondering, How did we get to this place? This post is for you.

I believe that America (not just the world) is suffering from LDD – Leadership Deficit Disorder.

Solution #1: Those who love Jesus, not just profess him, but actually love and serve him, must understand that this calls for an all-out prayer war.

Solution #2: We need a massive redefinition of leadership. One of the reasons that our founding fathers were such great leaders was the fact that, for the most part, they were real followers. Most of the founding fathers believed and followed Jesus. The leaders that we are called to follow and support, according to the New Testament, must be followers of Jesus.

Paul writes, Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 1 Cor 11:1 KJV

The new media culture has redefined what it means to be a leader and a follower. But the New Testament already has instructed us on this matter:

1 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me.

Philippians 3:17 Join one another in following my example, brothers, and carefully observe those who live according to the pattern we set for you.

1 Thessalonians 1:6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord when you welcomed the message with the joy of the Holy Spirit, in spite of your great suffering.

There is no question about it: Jesus was and is a great example of a leader. But Jesus never had a blog. He never wrote a book, (even though he is the Word). He never set up an organizational structure with job descriptions. He didn’t create a logo. He refused to set up a school of training outside of the School of the Holy Spirit. I don’t think that he would ever appear on the Tonight Show, the Today Show, The View or even The Factor.

Look at his description in Isaiah 53:2-4:

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

But in spite of this, Jesus is the greatest leader who ever lived, raising up billions of followers who continue even two thousand years after his death.

So let’s look at the present model of leadership training: they look to make you smarter, more follow-worthy, visible, attractive, and charismatic.

But leadership isn’t spelled with a “you.”

Here are some of the qualities of a leader:

  • Integrity
  • Humility
  • Ability
  • Mission-Centric Vision
  • Conversations that are Vision-Mission-Worthy
  • Frustration and intolerance for things not Vision-Worthy
  • An incredible capacity to give birth to new leaders

Some of these qualities cannot be taught; they can only be modeled.

We are a culture that has become quite facile in speaking out of both sides of our mouths.

One of the leaders that I know who was on the New York Stock Exchange is also a man who has been sober for over three decades. Yet, in spite of his acknowledged weakness in the area of alcohol, he was sought out for advice by hundreds of individuals for his wisdom.

What he learned through his weakness was a form of power that would sustain him, and others, through the storms of life.

Could it be that God permits our weaknesses because it is through our weakness that we discover his grace and power? Well this obviously was the way St. Paul saw it.

2 Cor 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

A Turning Point
Repentance is winter stationno longer a cultural value; as a matter of fact, an individual is prosecuted if they do acknowledge their wrong, and disqualified as someone worth following. Thus we engender a cover-up culture, from make-up to crime.

Our culture is dominated by the “smartest person in the room” pathology. We are prone to worship and follow (yes, when you follow someone, it is an extension of worship) those individuals who are strategic, innovators, change-agents and talented, not to mention beautiful and cool.

When was the last time you heard a leader described as being meek? Yet two of the greatest leaders in scripture are referred to as being meek: Moses and Jesus. Maybe that is why there is such a void of the presence of God?

James writes:
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

I believe that God has a remnant of leaders he is training.

You can identify them as the people who say, “Thank you.”
The people who say, “You are right, I was wrong.”
The people who give before they are asked.
The people who are not disturbed by traffic.
They hold doors, they listen more than they speak.
Don’t spend more than they make.
Don’t promise what they can’t deliver.
Don’t hide their weaknesses, but acknowledge them.

The new leaders are going before us, to show us how Jesus did it.



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