WISE INTENTIONAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Volume 12, Number 6 – JUNE, 2018
Greetings. I pray you are encouraged by what is shared in the two articles this month. They challenge me to live my life exemplifying Jesus. Mike
DIOTREPHES – NOT A ROLE MODEL FOR SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP
Is being a leader about you or about others? How you answer that question will reveal why you desire to lead. If your goal is to help develop others, then you are being a leader following in the footsteps of Jesus. There are times the temptation is to fall into the trap of having power over others or attaining a certain leadership title will bring you prestige, power and wonderful benefits. We have to intentionally make our ability to influence about making other people better and we are doing what we do for them.
Do you know who Diotrephes is? His story is not well known in the Bible but in 3 John we read about him. Diotrephes was a leader in the church John was writing to and what John wrote about him is not uplifting. This man loved to be first and was not hospitable toward other Christians, gossiping maliciously about John. Anyone who was hospitable to traveling believers was tossed out of the church by Diotrephes. This guy was a controller, manipulator and did not allow the love of Jesus to flow through him.
Diotrephes was all about himself. The world revolved around him. He had a major attitude problem and it dripped on everyone he came in contact with. Diotrephes was in leadership of the church John wrote the letter to but having a position in the church, did not qualify this man to be a spiritual leader. That is why Christians cannot automatically give a title to a person simply because of position.
Diotrephes absolutely did not represent what a spiritual leader represents. Ponder your list of qualifications for spiritual leadership and make sure it is a list found in the Word of God, not your desire to the one in charge.
There is only one place the character, Diotrephes is mentioned and that is in 3 John. How he is mentioned is extremely negative, as he opposed so many qualities of Jesus even though he was a church leader. It does not take much to develop a negative legacy. We may have only one or Ia few opportunities to influence some individuals. Often first impression of how we influence is what stays with others about our legacy.
Do I want others to be drawn to Jesus as a magnet pulls or do I repel people from Jesus? If people would compare our lives to the truths and principles of the Bible and nature of Jesus, how much of a similarity would there be between our lives and the Bible? This is one reason titles scare me. People have placed titles on me to include Pastor, International Director, Man of God, Coach, Chief and Father. The only title I have to pursue is servant because that was Jesus’ title.
If my life does not reflect who Jesus is, then I am being a fraud and no title will make me act or look better. Do you not want your life to reflect Jesus and what the Word describes as “one who has been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13)? What a wonderful compliment and better than any title other than the servant one, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
I do not know where Diotrephes was spiritually. All I know is he did not represent Jesus well at all and did not deserve to be a leader in Christian circles. May that not be said about anyone of us.
YOUTH MINISTRY – YOUNG AFRICAN’S ATTITUDE
A young, educated African friend was asked why he did not want to stay in the United States and pursue an easier life and probably make a lot of money. His response gets to the heart of a leader actively craving being a leader who loves Jesus. He wanted to use his education to help develop his fellow citizens so that they would have a better life and be drawn to Jesus. People had been there for him as he was growing up, providing the path for him to become what God made him to be. Now it was his opportunity provide paths for others.
What an admirable attitude. It is so easy to focus simply upon yourself and keep that focus on you, ignoring the needs and circumstances of those around you. Sometimes we forget that to get where we are pursuing or arrived was not a solo effort. We have all had people who have made various sacrifices for us to get where we are.
Understanding who you are and developing yourself to be the best you can become should be our goals. Know who you are, how you are put together. But have a humble, realistic view of yourself as we are challenged in Romans 12:3 – “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us”.
There is a leadership truth called the Law of the Lid. You cannot lead anyone where you have not been or beyond the level of knowledge, ability or wisdom you have, simply because you have not gone there yourself. Let people speak truth into your life and you will develop.
Helping others succeed helps you succeed. If your attitude is to help others, willing to involve their needs and life’s issues into your life, you will have positive impact and be used in wonderful ways. Allowing the Lord to guide you in these steps and be a conduit for His use, you will have a similar attitude as the young African friend from the first paragraph.
If you get to the end of your life and did not take opportunities to help others, you led a very selfish life, resulting in little joy. You could end up with all the money in the world and be the saddest, most miserable person in the world because you have simply focused totally on yourself.
We are created to live in community, meaning having (positive) relationships with one another. Everyone is created in God’s image and we need to treat one another as such. It is okay to differ or have differing viewpoints but still respect people because they are created by God and God loves them.
Be a difference maker for Jesus. Show people Jesus, offering them love and your commitment to living your life that honors Him and who He is. Don’t let your Jesus experience be only an hour or two on a Sunday. Instead in everything that you do, allow Him to flow through you, bringing Him glory and honor. An awesome compliment given to you in heaven will be “Well done, good and faithful servant! You represented Me well.”