All kingdom leadership dynamics function spiritually. The kingdom is a spiritual kingdom. The leadership has spiritual dynamics. The empowerment and authority is spiritual first but affects people, places, and things by spiritual power and authority.
Kingdom leadership dynamics operate in contrast with leadership dynamics common to the kingdoms of man. Where there is contrast, competition, compromise, and comparison in this world, there is spiritual consensus, cooperation, covenant, and collaboration in God’s kingdom.
Alignment makes a way for agreement. Agreement allows us to move forward with boldness. The agreement comes from spiritual consensus. Consensus means “agreement and accord” a derivative of “consent.” Consensus comes from submission to assignment. The alliance and agreement that comes through submitted to an assignment produces boldness to build, a surety of purpose and strategy that says, “We are doing the right thing the right way, so let’s pursue with passion!”
At some point, spiritual consensus requires submission. The submission is not a compromise that allows each of the leaders to maintain some sense of personal dignity and autonomy. The submission is a choice each leader makes to align with the King, and the consensus derives agreement from a mutual agreement with God. Such an agreement can only come by spirit-with-Spirit-with-spirit koinonia. True koinonia means, “take a share.” Therefore, koinonia produces consensus through mutual consent. We achieve unity of purpose through agreement of assignment. We have not yet dealt with strategy, of course, the main source of disunity and we have not dealt with striving the main source of conflict, but we have laid down the foundation for kingdom leadership dynamics through which the Body can “build up itself in love.”
How often we hear the cry, “Why can’t we all just get along?” We can! We can achieve high levels of spiritual cooperation and collaboration once we have consented to make the assignment the basis for our agreement. We can never reach oneness on strategy until we achieve unity about our purpose. We cannot build something without a blueprint or without a blueprint to which we agree. We “sign up” to build the blueprint by signing off on the design first, then we settle into the submission process of coordinated strategy.
While consensus is a beginning, it is not the whole enchilada. When I was involved more deeply at the national level with the pro-life movement, I soon discovered that the movement contained a broad coalition of people who agreed on the sanctity of life but were very diverse about “what should be done about it.” I called this the pro-life spectrum, the pro-life journey. I rubbed shoulders with people who attended a fund-raising ball once a year to raise money to support pro-life political candidates and with people carrying the bodies of unborn children burned black with saline solution to cause them to abort. While I wouldn’t include the “let’s just shoot ’em” mavericks in the movement, some of the people I met were willing to chain themselves to tables while some were willing to stand outside a clinic and sing and pray. The spectrum based upon the consensus was broad and the disagreements over “what should we do about this” were sometimes heated and divisive. Therefore, we had a strong consensus and a divided strategy.
In kingdom leadership dynamics, God never separates His strategy from His purpose. Therefore, consensus must include strategy. The principles and protocols of the kingdom should provide us a basis for agreement on “what should we do about this.”
The first name of “spiritual consensus” is “spiritual.” So, let us reach out for a fuller understanding of how this consensus is spiritual or SpiritFirst. Paul’s discussion of consensus with the Corinthian Ecclesia is classic. He identifies factors of spiritual health and maturity that determine kingdom leadership dynamics. He speaks about infants, fleshly, and mature while contrasting natural and spiritual dynamics as a basis for function.
Two factors emerge: the level of maturity and the leadership motivation. We will encounter a lack of consensus where there is a lack of maturity because infants and fleshly both speak to spiritual discipling development. A person who is fleshly is immature. A person who is infantile is fleshly by motivation and priority: babies tend to be self-centered and overly simplistic. “Feed me. Change me. Rock me. Notice me.” This is fleshly but for a different reason from a fleshly believer who has chosen to prioritize natural or this world’s dynamics instead of spiritual or kingdom dynamics.
Paul says mature people can eat meat. Immature people remain on the bottle. The “meat” to which he refers is spiritual revelation, information received and digested spiritually. So, only people mature enough in spirit to eat substantial revelation, process the information flow of kingdom leadership can achieve consensus. Immature people cannot reach consensus because they have little or no basis upon which to reach agreement.
You can fill the kingdom with immature people, but you cannot establish and expand the kingdom without mature, spiritual leaders. When the kingdom fails to mature people, it fails to reach consensus, divides randomly over immature issues, and fragments about strategies and purposes.
In kingdom leadership, Jesus assigns leaders to build. The builders align their assignments to produce the finish product or purpose Jesus wants. Their alignment reveals that some builders have a set of blueprints for nations, while others have a set of blueprints for a region, while others have a set of blueprints for city. Leaders without blueprints are leaders assigned to a blueprint team, task and project oriented, with authority to recruit, train, and implement some aspect of the assignment a blueprint leader has been given. Everybody in his or her proper preparation and position will be engaged in “the work of the ministry that builds up the Body of Christ.” Therefore, no one has a legitimate assignment to stand around alone.
If we fill the Ecclesia with immature people, we produce a leadership problem. We are applying the wrong dynamics to the kingdom. We are fleshly and/or immature. We are ignoring the strategy of the kingdom. Jesus has a strategy called kingdom. Kingdom has a strategy called leadership. Leadership has a strategy called discipling. Discipling has a strategy called fathering.
If we lack consensus, we have failed to mature spiritual leaders who can function in kingdom leadership dynamics. Division exposes immaturity.
Discipling should include deliverance and inner healing in order to break people from bondages and restore aspects of their personal development frozen by trauma, dysfunction, and overcompensation. (That is why I developed FreedomMinistry International. A discipling ministry that turns ordinary believers into ministering leaders. It is a blended combination of discipling ministries necessary to the maturing of kingdom people.) Without doubt, the lost art of discipling weakens the modern church more than any other factor. Even when revival and awakening arrive, immature believers misuse these resets because they lack the maturity to build kingdom.
Who of us hasn’t observed a vey promising kingdom initiative deteriorate into chaos because of unhealed wounds and personal bondages in kingdom leaders assigned to lead the move of God? Having accumulated intercessors, prophets, and apostles, yet failing to mature them and the kingdom leaders needed to implement kingdom strategies, conflict, comparison, contrast, and competition continue to mar the kingdom. The spectrum of kingdom leadership remains as diverse as ever because of a lack of consensus, and the lack of consensus remains because of fleshly, immature leadership dynamics.
Blaming a cruel, evil, blinded, and perverse world for failure insults the Power of the Cross, the Life of the Resurrection, the authority of the Ascension, and the Intercession of Jesus! What remains out of reach is a strategy that produces mature leaders because of the neglect or rejection of discipling and discipline. Love without discipline. Honor without discipline. Accumulation remains the fleshly assumption of the modern American church.
Consensus requires revelation. Kingdom consensus is spiritual. The experiences that produce this consensus are shared spiritual experiences operating in mature kingdom leaders with some level of expertise and experience. Consensus requires a revelation experience, more than simply being born anew, but capable of processing kingdom information through a preparation process.
The Spiritual Person
Paul says, “The spiritual person judges all but he is judge by no one.” The sense of the word, “judge,” has to do with processing information. The spiritual person processing information spiritually, so he cannot be processed by someone else because they aren’t party to the spiritual process. He might be judged by fleshly or immature people because they have inadequate capacities to process information spiritually. He might share his conclusions with other spiritual people in order to gain greater understanding, but the spiritual person processes life through spiritual reality.
Paul continues: “For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he can get on board the same boat with Him?’ However, we have the mind of Christ [ so we can get on board, stride the same pace with Him, process what He is thinking.]” The Greek word is sumbibazo, “to stride with, to join together in reasoning, to reach the same conclusion with.” So the spiritual man can reach consensus with Jesus, and spiritual people can join together in this agreement as a basis for purpose and strategy.
We would say, “We need to get on the same page with Jesus. Who can do that?” Paul says, “The spiritual man can! He can process the spiritual information so that he can carry out what the purpose and strategy of Jesus.”