Tuesday, October 09, 2012


NOTE: For those of you who weren’t able to join us at the Bay Area Momentum on Oct. 6/7, here’s a look at my presentation notes on the topic of “Leadership”.

MOMENTUM: Leadership – The Most Important Thing? [PART 1]
I want to thank all the other presenters for allowing me to speak on the most important topic of all – Leadership.

Really, is anything more important than leadership? Obviously, nothing is more important than leadership in the Church. We know this first of all because everywhere we look we see the evidence. We have Leadership conferences, Leadership study bibles, Leadership sections of our book stores, we have Leadership guru’s everywhere.

Another way we know that Leadership is the most important thing in the Church is because the Twelve Disciples were very interested in this topic. In fact, no one in the New Testament is more interested in Leadership and Hierarchy than the disciples of Jesus.
"An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest." (Luke 9:46)

Even at the Lord's Supper, when Jesus announced that one of them would betray him, and that he would suffer in order to establish a new covenant between God and man, the disciples took a break from discussing which of them might betray Jesus in this way in order to discuss the very important topic of leadership:
"A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest." (Luke 22:24)

Earlier on in Jesus' ministry the mother of James and John came to him to engage in a dialog about leadership, saying:
Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom." (Matthew 20:21)

Of course, James and John themselves were also quite eager to move up in the hierarchy of the Kingdom and so they also came to Jesus to talk about leadership issues when they said:
"Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory." (Mark 10:37)

Even when they traveled from town to town, the disciples loved to pass the time by talking about which of them was the greatest of all.
They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, [Jesus] asked them, 'What were you arguing about on the road?' But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest." (Mark 9:33-34)

Now, I believe that every person has a God-given desire to be great. The problem comes when we confuse “Greatness” with “Being Important.”
Jesus said that the greatest would be the servant of all, not the most important, or intelligent, in the room.
Yes, the disciples were extremely fixated on the topic of leadership and hierarchy. But Jesus wasn't. In fact, in every single one of these cases, Jesus took the time to stress to His disciples that, in the Kingdom of God, leadership didn't have anything to do with being top dog. In fact, if they wanted to be great in the Kingdom of God, they would have to get used to washing feet, being everyone's servant and acting like simple, humble children.

Let’s look at how Jesus responds to the disciples obsession with leadership and hierarchy:
Jesus points to both a secular and a religious hierarchy and says, “Not So With You!”

SECULAR HIERARCHY: "Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45)
He sternly warned his disciples not to “lord it over” one another as the Gentile rulers did.

RELIGIOUS HIERARCHY: But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant.  For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matt 23:8-12).

He also commanded them not to follow the example of the Jewish leaders who loved the praise of men and built their own kingdoms to glorify themselves.

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