For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. Matthew 8:9-10
In the above scripture, we have a rare instance where Jesus actually marveled at someone’s faith. It was remarkable to Jesus because the leader admitted he was a “man under authority” signifying that he understood what authority was and knew how it was to operate. His faith was in the system of authority. I Corinthians 11:3, reveals that all authority ultimately comes from God through Christ.
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Often we fail to distinguish between leadership and authority. Ideally, leadership and authority go hand in hand. A person has authority by virtue of his position. When an organization appoints a leader over a department they give him authority to operate in that position. He receives control over a budget, authority to hire and fire, and authority to appoint subordinate leaders within that department. An authoritarian manager will use his authority to motivate the individuals in his department by fear of not getting a raise or promotion, fear of a negative review, fear of being fired, etc. If he continues on that path, he may soon develop the traits of the dictator.
The love leader, when given the same authority will use that authority to equip and encourage the individuals of the department. This may mean budgeting for training sessions when needed; hiring an assistant for someone who is overburdened with clerical work, or recommending the best department member for the leadership of some other department. The love leader uses authority for the benefit of those he leads.
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Think of the Love of God and not the wrath of God.
Delegation of Authority
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matthew 25:23
The head of an organization has authority over all aspects of the organization. The head has the authority to make every decision. In a small organization, he might retain all of this authority himself, but if the organization grows large, he is no longer able to make every decision himself and must delegate authority to others. Delegation of authority means transfer of the privilege to make decisions. As the organization continues to grow, the delegation of authority must include the privilege to further delegate decision making down through the organization.
A member of the organization receiving delegated authority has been sanctioned by the organization to make decisions in specific matters within specific boundaries. But being sanctioned by the organization to make decisions does not ensure the ability to get the organization to implement the decisions. Implementation requires cooperation from each member of the organization. Achieving that cooperation, especially to the maximum degree, requires leadership.
It is possible that the leader who influences the organization to follow decisions is not the same person with authority to make those decisions. But if different people fill these roles, it is necessary that they are in agreement and that they trust one another. This opens the subject of leadership teams. One example of a leadership team that is very common is a husband and wife team that raises the children. Leadership teams will be discussed in more detail within the Three Realms of Leadership.
Recommended Reading List for the Emergence of Love Leadership
Jones, Laurie Beth. Jesus CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership.
Myra, Harold & Shelly, Marshall. The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham.
I Corinthians 13, the Bible.
Character of the Love Leader Part 3
The same way a loving parent captures and enjoys the moments of a child’s life; the Heavenly Father forever captures our moments of discovery and truth as we go through the process of growing up in our faith.
We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.1 Winston Churchill House of Commons (meeting in the House of Lords), 28 October 1943
If your character were a building, this quote by Winston Churchill might read, “We shape our character, and afterwards our character shapes us.” I have heard that God’s anointing may get you to the top, but your character is what keeps there. This would seem to be a true statement. There are many talented and charismatic people in the church but it is the individual with strong love character who stays the course. The nursery volunteers, who show up week after week after week to do a job without fanfare or pomp, are the ones who exhibit the steady, strong heartbeat of Godly character. This is Love Leadership in action. In his book, Classical Collection on Prayer, E.M. Bounds wrote, “Character is the state of the heart. Conduct is its outward expression. Character is the root of the tree. Conduct is the fruit it bears.” Biblical, Godly character is always rewarded..
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Galatians 6:9 The promise of reaping is on the condition, ” if we faint not.” To faint is to let go of that which God has called you to do. It is to sit with outstretched hands and say, “This is too hard for me. There must be something else I can do that is easier.” In Matthew 14:25, Jesus walked on the water and asked Peter to do the same. Was that easy? Ask Peter! Character keeps you there in your place until the Lord moves you.
Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
2 John 1:8
Seeking to Influence Others
Character is important to anyone who would seek to influence others. This is especially true for the leader who depends on relationships. It is very important, however, to distinguish between influencing someone and pushing someone. Influencing someone by pushing them to do what you are not willing to do is not leadership. It is manipulation. If you don’t believe in yourself, you are not going to attract anyone to you who will believe in you.
The Love Leader does not push others, but he beckons them to go where he has already been. If you want to see what kind of a leader someone is, take a look at those working with him. Are they harried? Frustrated? Confused? Do they eagerly say with a look of disgust, “I can’t wait for the weekend?” or “I cannot wait until a day off”? Do they call in sick a lot? These are all symptoms of an environment where something is not right. When a Love Leader is in the office, the co-workers are energetic, excited about their work, and efficiently creative. Work should not be drudgery, but an opportunity to create and accomplish something. The co-workers respect and have a good relationship with the Love Leader. It is possible to enjoy where you work and with whom you work.
Where there is Fear of Loss there is Control
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Control, fear, and manipulation go hand in hand. They form a powerful trio that push and pull each other down a track with no way off, and a bullet train bearing down upon them. The effects of fear in a leader are equally as devastating. II Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” As the scripture reveals, there is no power, love or soundness of mind when fear is present. Power, love and soundness of mind are three Godly elements that work together to produce great things. A leader walking in fear has the propensity to twist information to achieve his program. He will often continue to press others to “work it out.” When the co-workers tell the boss, “This plan is not working!” he will switch people around and manipulate information that works to keeps everyone involved in a combative mode. Strife enters in and it makes for a long, frustrating workweek. The American Heritage Dictionary gives one definition of manipulation as, “shrewd or devious management, especially for one’s own advantage. Controlling and manipulative leaders can send a good team into a quick tailspin. Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” How can fear and faith work together? They are diametrically opposed to one another. Unless there is divine intervention, the outcome is failure. A Love Leader will not feel the need to be “in control” because he is following the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Instead of asking “Do I have the ability to lead?” The question to ask is, “Do I have the ability to follow the direction of the Holy Spirit?”
When a man places you in a position then man can move you out. When God places you in a position then no man can move you out.
Walking in Light
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Love Leaders must work to walk in Godly character in everything they do so that men may see their good works and glorify the Father. As living epistles (II Corinthians 3:3) we are watched and wondered about. More importantly, God sees all that a man does and thinks.
And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.
1 Chronicles 28:9-10
The place of authority is a highly regarded place in the eyes of heaven. It should be undertaken with the utmost respect, biblical humility, and integrity. God is the One who establishes “seats” of authority. Even Jesus did not brag about His authority. He gave honor to God and said that He came in His Father’s Name and not His own (John 5:43). A leader who constantly talks about “his or her authority” is a leader, who not only feels inferior about his or her position, but one who has no concept of unity. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary gives this definition of unity, “… a condition of harmony: accord b: continuity without deviation or change (as in purpose or action).” In the book HeroZ, by William C. Byham, Ph.D., and Jeff Cox, (authors of the bestseller, Zapp! The Lightening of Empowerment) an example of unity is expressed by the term “involvement.” William and Cox write, “Involving others means, “Helping people take ownership of an idea so that they become personally committed to its development, implementation, and ultimate success.” It is difficult for a team to take ownership when the “leader” is constantly reminding them that the idea, project, accolades, etc., will belong to him because he is the authority in charge.
The quickest way to alienate team members is to pull a title or job description out and wave it like a red flag in front of a bull.
From personal experience, I have found that individuals in charge, who constantly remind everyone the he or she is in charge, do little more than create stressful work environments where little work is done but finger-pointing and complaining flourishes. This atmosphere leads to anger, dejection, confusion, and strife. The Spirit of God can accomplish little when strife and division enter into the work environment. It is a division that will destroy the progress that unity brings. James 3:16 tells us, “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” Love Leaders must endeavor to walk in the light and the peace of God. That atmosphere of love is tangible when it is practiced every day. When situations arise and division and strife tries to stick its foot in the door- go to prayer! Make good use of the assistance of the Holy Spirit. He has been sent to help us right when we need it.
Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God; he directs it to whatever ends he chooses.
Proverbs 21:1 The Message Bible.
Biblical Characteristics of a Negative Leader
I have written briefly to the church; but Diotrephes, who likes to take the lead among them and put himself first, does not acknowledge my authority and refuses to accept my suggestions or to listen to me. So when I arrive, I will call attention to what he is doing, his boiling over and casting malicious reflections upon us with insinuating language. And not satisfied with that, he refuses to receive and welcome the [missionary] brethren himself, and also interferes with and forbids those who would welcome them, and tries to expel (excommunicate) them from the church.
3 John 1:9-10 AMP
Likes to be number one
Won’t listen to those more experienced
Speaks badly about the boss
Shuts out those who actually want to keep their position and fires those who follow after higher ranking leader’s initiatives
Does this description look or sound familiar? III John 1:11 continues with, “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.”
Biblical Characteristics of a Love Leader
But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. And he led them on safely, so that they feared notâ€¦
· Causes his people with him to advance
Gives guidance when there is uncertainty
Keeps a parameter of “safe boundaries” so no one bolts
Steps up to the plate when there needs to be distinct leadership
Keeps things running smoothly and becomes the fall guy if necessary so that others feel secure in the environment
Humility in the Love Leader
Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mindâ€¦
Self-abasement vs. Biblical Humility
Humility does not put itself down; it puts itself aside for others. Philippians 2:3 says that we are to esteem others better than ourselves. Self-abasement or self “put-down” is an attention-drawing device in the negative sense.
True humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
The Servant; James Hunter
In Matthew 6 Jesus gave an entire discourse on how not to draw attention to one ’s self. In all of this Jesus is always our example.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The expression of humility it is not denying that we are human and have needs, but rather acknowledging that our needs must take the backseat when God’s desire is evident. Jesus did not deny that He had a need when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. However, He acknowledged that God’s desire was the greater of the two: “And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done”
Jesus’ need was to have the cup of suffering removed from Him. He asked God to remove the cup from Him, yet He chose to remove His will and let God’s will in the matter prevail.
“…the only humility that is really ours is not that which we try to show before God in prayer, but that which we carry with us, and carry out in our ordinary conduct–the insignificances of daily life are the importances and the tests of eternity, because they prove what really is the spirit that possesses us.”
Humility, pg. 33-34; Andrew Murray
When David asks of God, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him?” In Psalm 8:4, he did not realize that God would soon send His only Son to this planet to die for the sins of humanity.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
If God thought us insignificant in the grand scheme of things, why would He do that? The answer is that He doesn’t think we are insignificant. Jesus indicates our value and tells how we should treat ourselves: “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself” Luke 10:27. We are to love our neighbors, and ourselves, with the same amount of passion, as we love God. The difference lies in how we think of ourselves in comparison to a neighbor.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Love Leadership demands God dependence not man dependence. For a Jewish person, the highest honor is to teach a man to be God dependent and not man dependent.
In his devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes, “The reality of God’s presence is not dependent on any place, but only dependent upon the determination to set the Lord always before us. Our problems come when we refuse to bank on the reality of His presence.”
Process and the Fruit of Patience
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Galatians 5:22-26 English Standard Version
The Biblical concept of patience cannot be understood apart from process. Patience is one of the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. There is a common misconception that a person filled with this kind of patience would never be bothered in the least by a lack of progress or improvement in an important area. But this is not the meaning of patience as a fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit Himself is never satisfied with a lack of progress and, as he leads us, we will not be satisfied with a lack of progress either. Nevertheless, we are to be patient.
A farmer would be foolish to get discouraged and stop watering halfway through the growth process because there is no fruit; this would result in decreased fruit at harvest time. It would be even worse to get discouraged and walk away from the field since he would never see any harvest that might come in spite of his neglect. A farmer would be most uninformed to expect to reap a harvest when no seed had been planted. Almost no constructive processes related to leadership happen spontaneously; they must be initiated. To think of one’s self as patiently waiting for results out of a process that has not been initiated is foolish; this is not patience, but wishful thinking. While extremely beneficial in our walk with the Lord, perseverance in patience can be equated with heavy labor. When you look at the word “labor” in I Corinthians 15:58, it denotes steady, hard, diligent work. We are commanded to be steadfast and unmovable when we are working the right plan. In other words, we are to continue until we have the finished product. You can’t change your mind when it is time to give birth! The baby has to be born and there is labor involved with the process.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
I Corinthians 15:58
Another misconception is that faith is nothing more than wishful thinking. Nothing could be further from the truth. Faith is belief in a process. Faith in God is faith that the spiritual processes that He informs us of in His Word will work in those things that concern us.
The Foolish Gardener vs. The Wise Gardener
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
A man had a beautiful garden by the side of his home. It was filled with wildflowers, roses, herbs, and vegetables of different variety. Each day he would pull weeds, prop up tomatoes, water, and prune dead leaves. At harvest time he would bring in baskets full of delicious, mouthwatering vegetables and gorgeous flowers. He continuously shared his harvest with his neighbors, who congratulated him heartily with every basket. Now, this man had another neighbor who was extremely competitive and he would watch daily through his blinds as his neighbor distributed baskets full of produce and flowers. The competitive neighbor, not wanting to be outdone, began planning out a garden that would out-rival and out-produce his popular neighbor. The scheming man drew out plots for carrots, peas, squash, onions, tomatoes, watermelon and rows of marigolds, wildflowers, tulips, roses, and every kind of herb he could think of. While his neighbor was pulling up the last green leaf and preparing his garden for winter, the conniving neighbor laughed out loud at his cleverness and began his garden as the autumn leaves began falling. He plowed the ground, turning the soil over and over. He added a rich soil mixture and table scraps of eggs, coffee grinds, old vegetables, and whatever else he could find that would condition the soil. He had watched his prolific neighbor year after year and knew that the more conditioned the soil the better the vegetable harvest.
Winter came, and he covered the plot and sat, watching his neighbor’s house. His heart grew as cold as the ground he watched over. With the first signs of spring, the happy neighbor brought out his hoe and began turning the ground over, setting up stakes in rows and adding soil mixture. Day after day, the competitive gardener was out twice as long as his loving neighbor, working by flashlight well into the evening hours. He set up tomato supports, plucked out rocks, and poured out manure, while working himself to near exhaustion. After a few more days, the neighbor’s plot had tiny sprouts peeping up through the fertile soil, and the gracious farmer clapped his hands in delight and thought of all the baskets he could give out through the season. His garden flourished. The flowers bloomed in brilliant color while onions and carrots pushed their way up through the soil. The greedy neighbor worked all the harder at his plot but with only weeds springing up.
All through the hot summer the man watered the soil and pulled the weeds, all the while cursing under his breath, as he watched his neighbor bringing in baskets full of abundant produce and flowers. Finally, the frustrated man could stand it no longer. He threw down his hoe and crossed the street to talk to his neighbor, who was knee deep in marigolds and basil. “How did you do it?” He asked. “I have worked in my garden twice as long and hard as you and nothing but weeds come up. What did I do wrong?” The gracious farmer patiently went over a mental checklist of gardening essentials, while the frustrated man blurted out that he had done everything diligently. Wiping the sweat off of his brow, the kind farmer looked at him and asked where he got his seeds. The hardhearted man twitched a little and said, “seeds?” “Yes! What seeds did you put into the ground? Did you mail order them? Did you buy them from a local farmer’s stand? What did you plant? Did you plant squash? Did you plant tomatoes? What about your seeds?” The jealous man turned pale, and without a word, turned and walked across the road and over to his barren plot. He stood and stared at it until tears welled up in his eyes. He had been so intent on making a show of how hard he could work and how experienced he was that he had forgotten the most crucial item, the seed. He had never gotten around to planting seed.
The gracious farmer watched the sad gardener from across the road and shook his head. Later on that evening, a basket of vegetables, flowers, and herbs was placed in the sad man’s porch, while inside the competitive man pondered on his plight. After a long night of thought he came up with this conclusion: you don’t get a harvest on what you intend to plant, only on what you plant.
Integrity and Communication
Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. Proverbs 8:6
The enemy works in darkness created by secrecy (Acts 26:18; Psalm 143:3). It is well documented that many of Hitler’s pogroms and abductions took place at night, under the cover of darkness, when the innocent and unsuspecting were sleeping. If we are honestly and openly talking to one another in our homes, communities, places of business and churches, the opportunities to hide an unethical or questionable action is minimized. If we suspect that we have observed something unethical, and we go to the person privately and communicate with them, more often than not, we will find that it is just a misperception.
Good, open communication avoids the pressure that challenges integrity.
Being able to trust what your supervisor or leader says is of vital concern in the workplace today. In Communication, Sex & Money, Edwin Louis Cole writes, “God says we are going to give an account of every “idle word.” Telling someone you will do something to pacify them, without meaning to do what you promise, is an “idle word.” God holds us accountable for such words even when men may not. Such words are often the cause of mediocrity, lost opportunities, lack of favor, and burdened minds.”
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christâ€¦
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
I John 3:18