(See previous posts for parts one and two)
There is probably no place where Kingdom thinking seems upside down as much as in the mind of a leader. None of the traditional laws of leadership fit the new model. Guilt, control, force, manipulation, political agendas and all the typical corruptions associated with power have no place in this Kingdom. All the rules have changed! All these carnal methods can no doubt get results but they do not endear the follower to the Kingdom of God. In fact, they alienate him. When leaders use carnal methods they reinforce the carnal mind of the follower. Carnal leadership builds organizations; spiritual leadership builds people. The religious leaders of Jesus day saw the multitudes as their servants. They used them to fulfill the agendas of their religious party. But Jesus showed an interesting paradox. He had a passion to reach the multitudes, but never at the destruction of the individual. Many great leaders of our day have learned the secret of building great organizations that serve the needs of the people. They have stayed true to Kingdom values. Carnal, leaders however, build organizations just for the sake of their personal glory and failing ego. They look successful because they are large and powerful, yet, their people are dying for a lack of Spiritual reality.
Jesus’ leadership style tended to defy logic. So very often He did for people what seemed to hurt the overall cause. Prostitutes, tax collectors and sinners often accompanied him. Their very presence offended the upper echelon of the Jews. This tendency to allow these people shared access, and equal value caused many to be offended and turn away. While Jesus, no doubt, regretted the loss of every potential follower, He never tried to satisfy the cultural standards to keep people, who would only be high maintenance, divisive controllers, in the end. Remember the same people who wanted to make Him King by force, were the same ones who wanted to kill Him when he failed to meet their expectations.
James, the brother of Jesus, later addressed this very issue when he warned against showing preference to the wealthy by giving them special seating in your congregations. As he pointed out, it is these very people who in the end turn on you and persecute you. This new Kingdom was not prejudiced against the wealthy or the powerful; it was just not biased in their behalf.
The Kingdom leader needs to be ever aware that wealthy people tend to trust their wealth, powerful people tend to trust their power, and so on! Regardless of what a person trusts – other than God’s Word – money, power, sin, etc., it renders them carnal minded. Never deceive yourself in this; carnal minded people will never harmonize with Kingdom values. There will always be a source of friction. And in the end, when the Word of God contradicts what they trust, they will align themselves against the principles of God and become the source of strife and division.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom 8:5-8, NKJV). Yet, these are often the very people we place in power! We falsely assume that those who succeed in the world’s system can succeed in our system. And they can, if our system is built on the same principles and values! Read Entire Article