This week we are going to focus on distorted leadership models. We got this concept from the book They Smell Like Sheep by Lynn Anderson.
Distorted Leadership Models – The CEO
Instead of leading the church by being in others’ living rooms, he’s making decisions behind close doors in the boardroom.
Do you value the opinions and input of others, or does that threaten you? Do you get defensive and bump out your chest when others question your decisions? Are you the kind of person who sits down with others and reasons why a certain course should be followed? How do you handle it when others try to give their ideas? What is your response/reaction when people don’t like your decisions and plans?
How do you see the decision-making process as an elder? Do you value the input of the congregation and seek it regularly? Have you experienced being in a congregation where many of the Christians wonder what’s going on because they are not let in on the directions and decisions of the elders? I am not trying to say that the elders have to consult the congregation on every single decision, but the congregation should be asked and welcomed regularly to give their input. And when those members give their input, their input should actually be considered and valued.
The apostles modeled this leadership when it came to choosing the 7 men to oversee the care of widows:
“Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. (Acts 6:3-6)
The apostles modeled this leadership again when it came to choosing the men who would be messengers to the churches:
Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers (Acts 15:22).
Here is some wisdom from Peter about being a shepherd leader, not a CEO boss-man.
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
(1 Peter 5:1-4)
Did we see that? Not domineering over those in your charge. You are not the boss, Jesus is. If a man understands that in his life, it will show at home, at work and in the congregation. We have enough bosses in this world, we sure don’t need them in the churches! Jesus had to work on His disciples to understand this concept. James and John thought to be great in Jesus’ kingdom meant that they would get the best seats of authority. Jesus had an entirely different view.
And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”