Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, his last instructions to his followers were to wait in Jerusalem, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and become witnesses of his resurrection to the world.
I’m intrigued that he didn’t leave anyone in charge. It must have been a new dynamic for them. They would need to learn to process decisions together and to value the contributions of the entire team. Not any one person would have the final say.
This new experience would bring in to focus the important role that each of them would need to play. And, they would have to learn how to arrive at important consensus by prayer and discussion.
When the miraculous rescue of the 33 miners in Chile occurred this past week, many people contributed to its success. NASA was called upon to decide what to feed the miners, how to construct a pod that could haul them to the surface, and for counsel regarding the psychological effects of their dilemma.
Two Pennsylvania companies were instrumental in providing the rig to drill the hole and the specialized drill bits. A company in Germany provided the rescue cable, and Japan came through on the video equipment! No one person could take the credit; in fact the leadership dynamic was all but incognito.
John Maxwell says that the focus of the 1980s was management, the focus of the 1990s was leadership, and the focus in the beginning of the 21st century was team-leadership.
Today, we’re seeing the return to the kind of leadership found in the book of Acts. The early church modeled leadership by committee. The Council of Jerusalem deliberated, debated and counseled together until they were convinced the Holy Spirit had spoken to them.
God’s intentional design to empower and enfranchise the young as well as the old, the women as well as the men, the Gentile as well as the Jew, the slave as well as the free, challenged the status quo. When the climate is created for everyone to contribute, the possibilities become limitless. Building alliances and networks should be the norm not the exception.
We are the body of Christ, made up of many parts, each incredibly important to the success of the mission. There is only one Head and none of us are it!
While the leadership component is critical, kingdom dynamics are less about the leader and more about the synergy created when we all contribute to the mission. Like those miners in Chile, people everywhere are trapped and in desperate need of help—and we have been commissioned to rescue them.
If we can truly celebrate the diversity of gifts among us, make sure that there is a place at the table for everyone, and partner with the Lord as He sows this wonderful tapestry together, we have a significant and fruitful future before us. The promise is that many, many people will be brought out of the darkness into the light! Is it really all that important who gets the credit?
By: Glenn Burris, president of The Foursquare Church