In my post Two Leadership Blunders According to Jesus of November 24, 2010, I got an insightful response from Molong Nacua, who is a simple church planter on the island of Cebu in the Philippines. His post 10 MEGA-SHIFT IN MAKING DISCIPLES was the basis of my post of the same name. It was one of my most popular posts ever. This link will take you to his blog The BARKADAS of Jesus. Now I’d like to include his insightful comments to my questions in Two Leadership Blunders According to Jesus as a post.
My Questions and Molong Nacua’s Answers
If in Jesus’ form of leadership we don’t lead through title, position, power or personal authority; how can we be leaders?
Jesus does not promote ‘leadership’ at all, but ‘servanthood. Let the world worry about a “Saul.” Let us be Christians make Jesus our King! There is no leadership “ladder” to climb between brothers in Christ, “Who’s the greatest?” We are “brother among brothers.” Displaying your leadership “skills” towards your brother doesn’t make you “equal” in God’s family.
In Jesus’ Kingdom do we actually lead?
Yes and No. No, we don’t lead in His Kingdom, He is the Leader. Yes, we actually “lead” outside His Kingdom, towards people who have NO spirit of God. Your brother has the same spirit like yours, he can be spirit-led as you are. Don’t assume to lead your brother just because he’s a “follower,” yeah, a follower of Jesus just as you are. Lead “unbelieving” people to Christ!
Can God actually lead through mere humans?
Yes, through His Spirit.”Those who are led by the spirit of God are called sons of God.”
Does he need titles and positions to do that?
No. Jesus is clear. “‘CALL’ no man…”
Can he lead through anybody and everybody or just a special few?
He can lead through anybody who has His Spirit. Spirit-led. You can be led by God for yourselves; you are not led to “lead” your brother. Try it and you will be in a mess, or at least you’ll get the blame in case you were wrong. I cannot tell you what to do or else you will be led by me. You cannot tell me what to do or else I will be led by you. I may tell you “what to do” like “love your brother” or “forgive someone” but the details of how to obey is up to you. We are told to “teach them to obey” in general like “one anothering” but not the “how.” And first, confirm it from your spirit if what you hear from me is from God. In this flow, no one is “trying” to lead you. But each one is helping one another to hear Jesus so that they can obey Jesus.
In the new covenant God speaks to our hearts and minds. Is this the key to a new style of leadership? Why would the new covenant make a difference?
Yes, this is a new style of leadership – SPIRIT-LED. This is the only kind of leadership that Jesus promotes. All human leadership style and model He eliminates, or as my friend would say “exterminate human leadership.” Honestly, this is not “new” at all as this is the whole intention of God to His own people that they will hear His voice, not a ‘stranger’s voice! John 10. Most of the time the ‘pastors’ voice can be a strangers voice!
In the OLD Covenant, only three kinds of people that had the spirit of God: Kings, Prophets and Priest. And they are “borrowed” the Spirit from God. “And the spirit of the Lord came into Samson…” “Cast me not away from Thy Presence O Lord, and TAKE NOT Thy Holy Spirit from me.” The Spirit of God in the Old Covenant is IN and OUT. But in the New Covenant, it is always “IN.”
This is one reason we cannot compare “Moses and Joshua” and “Elijah and Elisha” type of discipleship in the New Covenant, because in their times the spirit of God just transferred from one to another. But in the NT, you are given, each one is given THE SAME SPIRIT, not “junior” nor “senior” Holy Spirit but the same. How can this be different having “leaders and followers?” Who’s who in the kingdom? The ‘least,’ one who does the ‘serving.’ Jesus keeps pointing His finger around ‘servant-hood.’ He may point His finger on leadership but is of the world and He said, “not so among you!”
“Paul, an apostle and a SERVANT of Jesus Christ…”
“James, a SERVANT of Jesus Christ…”
“Peter, an apostle and a SERVANT of Jesus Christ…”
If they were “leaders” they should have called themselves that, but why “servants?” Guess, they are different person? They cannot be one hey? Is he a “she” or a “he?” So, the 5-fold Gifts are “servants.’ Fathering and Mothering their next generation, serving the Body of Christ, not “leading one another,” I cannot find a verse on that, however I find “serve one another.” All the books on “Christian Leadership” and all the verses they quote are not really “leadership characteristics,” but of “servant-hood.” Let’s not call what is not there, let’s not name it. Take note, all major and minor problems in the body of Christ is not because of ‘leadership crises’ but of ‘servanthood crises.’ No one in the ‘leadership team’ wants to ‘serve!’ Leaders fought who makes the decisions, well, you’re not, I’m not. Jesus is, He’s the Head not me and you, It’s His Body, we’re only a part of it. Even if one is a ‘hand’ [has a 5-fold gifts], he still is a hand and not a head. Leaders fought who makes the decisions, who should be followed, everything must pass to them and so predicaments started to arise. Paul help birth the churches in just 3 week at least, and leaves them, entrusted them in the Holy Spirit [Acts 20]. But warns at the same time that ‘there are some among you here who will draw disciples for themselves.” It’s obvious, Paul does not worry about leadership, in fact he warns about it!
Christ is the leader, we are all His followers. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples…” Means, make “followers of Jesus.” If we are told to ‘make followers,’ then who made you/or someone a leader?’
The difference between OT and NT is being spirit-led.
- Have you ever thought of leadership in this way before?
- Does this bring a new focus on Jesus statements about leadership in Luke 22:25-27?
- Does this give a new meaning to “Jesus is Lord?”
- If, because of the new covenant, Jesus himself can lead each and every one of us, individually and in community, what happens when humans lead?