We have all been hurt by bad leaders. Chances are most of us have hurt others with our bad leadership. We all need forgiveness for our leadership failures.
But even more, our way of leadership needs redeemed, restored, renewed.
The good news of the Bible is this: God is actively working to redeem the world in all ways. God intends to use leaders as a central part of this redeeming activity. Therefore, God must FIRST, redeem this very thing called leadership.
I can't begin to give you even an overview of this. This what we spent most of our time studying, reflecting, praying, imagining, and desiring.
Here I just want to point out a few "sweeping" thoughts on God's work of redeeming what is broken and corrupt in our leadership. All of this is one section of Exercises in Volume Five: They Had Been With Jesus. Here is the overview.
King David who had a heart after God's heart (Psalm 78:70-72). In this short Psalm we see David described as shepherd, servant and steward... the model for good leadership. (The image below is one of my favorites of King David - the Psalmist-King of Israel.)
The servant of the Lord passages in Isaiah. Most of the kings of Israel utterly failed and so there is a future servant of the Lord who will be the kind of leader God intended. Who is this future servant of the Lord? This servant (suffering servant) will be Jesus Christ.
We then spend the rest of the time looking at ten different passages (and there are many others we must skip over) where Christ models the truly counter-cultural way of leadership that God intended.
Jesus surrenders his will to the will of God. Jesus becomes shepherd, servant and steward. More than that, Jesus so gives up his rights for the sake of others that he uses the word "slave." And more than that! A slave who suffers and finally sacrifices himself for the sake of others! Unbelievable! Preposterous! Outrageous! Beautifully scandalous!
We work through these themes in a reflective, conversational manner, creating space for God to speak to us, to meet with us, to begin his redeeming work. So much of it begins with the reforming of our desires.
The questions come down to this:
(1) Do I desire to be the kind of leader God wants me to be?
(2) If I don't desire that - am I willing to begin to desire that?
(3) If I don't desire this and I am not willing to desire this - what are the implications of my refusal to become the kind of leader God desires?
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International