Many people envision a leaders as someone to do for them what they lack the strength of will and personal leadership to do for themselves, but such a concept of leadership is foreign to the kingdom of God. God is making a kingdom of priests and kings: the kingdom leadership He has provided produces maturity in the people. Mature leaders mature leaders.
We certainly have a dearth of leadership function, but the leadership solution is more about maturing people personally than maturing the leaders they are assigned to follow. We cannot afford another generation of supersaints and spiritual X-men performing like Saul, head and shoulders above the people but really small in influence. King Saul’s leadership actually produced regression instead of progression in terms the level of personal leadership in Israel.
That is, the people demanded that their leadership be “like the nations around us.” They wished to be better at the game of cultural piracy, consume or be consumed, than they wished to become the people God created and called them to be. They wanted a king “to fight for us.” God wanted them to learn to fight themselves. Saul left them to make war without weapons: only Saul and Jonathan had a sword. The people showed up to watch a performance instead of being prepared and positioned “to do the stuff.”
God anointed David because David would do what God wanted. David had God’s heart, developed in obscurity, in the crucible of personal leadership development. David mature his own leadership through submission and obedience, then inspired the people to develop personal leadership in their own lives.
Levels of Leadership Function
The maturity of the people sets the level of leadership function. The leader can mature personally at any rate, but the level of leadership in which leadership functions depends upon the maturity of the people following that leadership. To lead at a higher level, the leader must mature the people in their own personal leadership. Mature leaders mature leaders.
God will provide a people the leadership at their personal leadership maturity level. Saul became king because the people were at that level of leadership maturity. David because king because God wanted a leader who could mature the people. Saul left people at the same level or even demanded them to exercise less personal leadership, keeping them in subservient position.
David immediately released them from that position into a higher level of personal leadership. In one moment, the quieted army shouted when they saw David raise the giant’s head. When encountered those in debt, discouraged, and disenfranchised in the desert, David starting immediately making them into mighty men.
Mature leaders mature leaders.
To lead in the leadership function of your creation and calling, you must be able to mature those assigned to that leadership. To lead apostolically, you must mature an apostolic people else your personal maturity and the function of your leadership will come into imbalance. You will be frustrated, even angry with people, but the real issue remains that your leadership function cannot mature if you do not mature the people God assigns to your leadership.
To break the cultural spiral that brings the next generation into the same level of personal leadership, we need more than a few special people escaping the spiral to become examples of “how to beat the system.” We need leaders who can inspire people to personal leadership, to bring them a strength of will that inspires submission and obedience to purpose, principle, and passion from outside themselves.
To prepare people to “do the work of ministry” requires the hard work of personal preparation. People must submit and obey in order to develop personal leadership that functions by passion, principle, and purpose greater than their own. Passion from outside themselves. Principle from outside themselves. Purpose from outside themselves.
Certainly people have created purpose instilled and installed within them by their Creator, but they immediately enter the crucible of personal leadership the moment they are born. Their Creator designed this leadership development strategy to develop personal leadership in His creation with a mind to strengthen the will of the individual so that personal can function in personal leadership, so people could be captured and committed to passion, principle, and purpose outside and higher than themselves. Not innate. Revealed. Inspired.
God Uses Leaders, Not Numbers
If hell cannot keep us from leadership, hell will work to limit leadership in our lives by offering us distractions and substitutes for true leadership.
God doesn’t use numbers to overwhelm. He uses leaders to represent. The fact that God prospered Israel and the nation mulitiplied does not mean that God intended Israel to overcome slavery with an accumulation of Hebrews. He did not. Of course, this made Pharoah upset, but Pharoah thinks with a natural mind: and, when we think that numbers are our strength, we are also thinking naturally!
How delightfully God blows our minds! Only renewed minds can prove His good, acceptable, and complete or mature will. We don’t see the what-God-wants with natural minds. When we allow the order of this world to shape us in its mold, we think to add Jesus onto our natural order like an add-on feature to the factory preset. We do err!
The revelation of Jesus doesn’t put gravy on our mashed potatoes. It puts us on a completely different diet! The revelation of Jesus blows up our natural mind functioning in the natural order, and gives us revelation priorities of a spiritual order.
God uses leaders. He wants everybody, but He never starts with everybody. He starts with remnant leaders and puts into them what He wants in everyone. Leadership that looks like Pharoah’s will glory in the strength of numbers, but leadership that looks like Jesus will glory in leadership. God has all power, authority, wisdom, riches, and dominion. God has myriads of angels. God didn’t put all He has in the numbers; He put it all in One Leader. When God wished to reset Creation, He reset it with a Leader. He put into One new Adam what He wanted in everyone.
Applying this to Kingdom, we see Jesus, the Originator and Ultimate of our faith. We see shepherding what looks like sheep in us. We see Him Evangelizing what is unaware in us. We see Him teaching what needs training in us. We see Him prophesying what is hidden to us. We see Him constructing the blueprint of purpose in apostolic authority. We see that He has provided these leadership dynamics to His Body to produce personal leadership in each member, preparing and positioning them to function in leadership. We see that having become mature, He has a strategy to mature each of us.