I didn’t ask this question but a segment of the modern America church is definitely asking it, answering it without the Bible in mind, or unwittingly or intentionally applying their answer to this question to their lives.
To some extent this is an overreaction to dysfunctional leadership, a discussion to which I would readily agree. However, in many cases it is an overcompensation for poor leadership, or an extreme of “the answer to poor is leadership is no leadership” approach.
God never replaces dysfunction with no function, false with nothing, or abuse with uselessness. God doesn’t ever give up on His agenda even when the agendas of hell, expressed through the spirit of the world and its cosmic order, dominate cultures and institutions. God never assumes the crises are so severe that the best approach is to abandon His principles and purposes. Even when He destroyed the world with a flood or burned up cities who had past the point of no return, or told Moses to move over so He could start over with a new generation, God never gave up on His principles and purposes. He simply sought a way to get what He wants with other people willing to make His agenda their’s.
No argument for “no leadership” can be made from the Bible. No argument for “no leadership” can be made for family, kingdom, or culture. No argument for new definitions of leadership can be made from any heavenly source because God anticipated the dynamics of leadership He designed for kingdom when He created people, founded kingdom, and established His Ecclesia.
The question isn’t “Is leadership Biblical?” but “what leadership is Biblical?” and “What leadership dynamics does God presuppose as foundational to His created order?”
Substitutes Don’t Work
If you read current books or listen to modern method messages about church-anity, you will discover how far from kingdom norms we have wandered. God’s principles become platitudes interpreted into substitutes for the complex spiritual systems of the Body of Christ. Analyses of failures to relate and new approaches to “reaching our generation” produce novel and sometimes nasty models for leadership. Few even discuss kingdom let alone. Nearly all dismiss the design and dynamics Jesus installed in the Ecclesia. Even fewer can model the true function of these dynamics in a way that is measurable beyond titles and perceptions – truth about the Truth concepts of “fathering, apostolic, prophetic, and church.”
All substitutes provide appearances for spiritual realities that welcome demonic distraction and substitution for Divine design and dynamics.
This is modern idolatry as a systematic spiritual delusion, a spiritual condition discussed in Scripture as Leviathan. The agenda of heaven is kingdom; the answer of hell is systematic delusion.
Isn’t is singular that when discussing how this attack occurs the Bible says, “The foundation of God stands sure?” Isn’t is singular that Hebrews says God shook a mountain when establishing a kingdom culture in Israel, and now is shaking everything so that what cannot be shaken will be all that’s left? Isn’t singular that we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken?
Then, isn’t is singular that the foundational leadership dynamics of the Ecclesia, apostle and prophet, are the two dynamics of kingdom leadership so easily dismissed by people who have made a decision to ignore kingdom with reference to Ecclesia? That is, their very dismissal of these leadership dynamics reveals their understanding that “no kingdom exists now” means “no apostles and prophets now.”
Ask for some intellectual honesty here! The idea that the BIble teaches kingdom stopped when Jesus ascended and won’t have anything to do with our lives, cultures, or the “church” until He returns is about as believable as the idea that “science” proves man-made global warming. In other words, forget what the evidence says in favor of making the evidence fit a theory that fits an agenda that allows for a substitute for God’s principles and purposes in the earth. [True in both cases.]
In each case, the agenda allows more control by the substitutes for God’s designed leadership dynamics in individuals, families, cultures, and the Ecclesia. Agendas are the operational battle plans of systematic spiritual delusion.
Fit that into the statement: “Put covetousness to death for it is idolatry.” [Colossians 3:5] Making the things or systems of this world the foundation of our motivations and forcing our leadership dynamics to answer to these “of earth” conditions, is idolatry, or substitution as deadly to kingdom dynamics as the demons who stand behind idols.
Idolatry is distracted worship responding to the rule or lead of something someone other than the God of the Bible.
Beware of any systematic substitution for discipling that basically says, “We are doing what Jesus said to do but in a different way that fits the modern world or is relevant to the thinking of moderns.” It is one step from idolatry, or already bungee jumping into the abyss of substitution for the design and dynamics of kingdom.
Beware the less than subtle demands of people that become the burdens of ministry that are not the burden of The Lord. Beware the “answers” to “we need to do this” that are nothing but a sell-out of kingdom priorities to appease the agenda of this world operating in carnal believers.
Beware while you are working to assist families in crisis because the culture has norms that destroy the foundation of family, that you do not create another “christianized” substitute for God’s design for marriage, family, parenting, and leadership yourself, for example. The Ecclesia doesn’t parent or rear children, neither do we design ministry to substitute for good parenting or provide for spiritual adultery in the case of dysfunctional marriage relationships.
Incorporating new norms into ministry, as World Vision is doing by advertising that they will hire people who have chosen LGBT lifestyles and labeled them “marriage,” doesn’t make ministry more relevant, nor is this concept of “ministry” consistent with any principle or purpose of the kingdom. Incorporation some substitute for Biblical discipline, as many believers are doing with their children and nearly all the Ecclesia has done with broken relationships among believers, doesn’t make ministry more relevant, nor does this model improvement the well-being of children or believers. Substitutes do more than weaken, they install an agenda.