The below is Lesson 5 from our Leadership Lessons series.
And just a warning – this one may ruffle a feather or two.
LESSON FIVE: It’s painful to obey.
KEY QUESTION: How can you follow and serve to become a better leader?
If you are a Christian leader, this post is for you. If you are a Christian leading Christians (pastor, ministry leader, etc.), this post is especially for you.
If you don’t mind, I need to direct this post a little more in a spiritual direction.
And it might get me in trouble with some of you. Nevertheless, here we go…
Leaders are in charge—mostly. Being a leader means you have followers. Otherwise, you’re just taking a walk.
The sheer presence of followers provides leaders two things we really, really love: power and authority.
Power and authority. Two dangerous bedfellows. Both power and authority are like temptresses, convincing us that what’s best for us (and for those following us) is more of the same. Our desire for power and authority creates an appetite for more power and authority. But like any appetite, having more power and authority doesn’t quench our thirst. The opposite is true. Our appetite grows stronger, causing us to desire and pursue even more power and authority.
The desire for power and authority is as old as time. Or at least as old as the human race. In the beginning, God created man, and man took about a week to disobey God in pursuit of power and authority. Our intrinsic (sinful) pride and greed took control. That same story continues all around us and inside of us.
Let’s talk about each problem individually before we consider a leadership solution.
Leaders Love Power
People love power; therefore, leaders desire it all the same. It seems we will do almost anything to gain a little more control.
Take an honest assessment of the recent behavior seen in self-proclaimed Christians. This example will sound political, but I am using politics only to illustrate.
The love of power has caused our political pursuits to overwhelm our Christian beliefs for far too many Christians.
- Politically, people are changing churches because they want their Sunday morning sermon to match their Monday evening cable new network.
- Political ideology has become more important than sound biblical theology.
- Prominent pastors suckle up to political powers for selfish gain (and power).
- Hate speech spews on social media from users with “follower of Christ” splashed all over their bio.