Anointing - Jesus is Our Leader
Maybe if you could share some of your thoughts around leadership? One of the big questions that I think we’ve got may be our understanding around leadership and God’s views on leadership.
What aspect of leadership did you wonder about?
I think it’s the paragons of where we come from. There’s the “one man in charge” kind of thing that someone is required for things to go on. Or for things to run smoothly there needs to be a single figure—a hero worship kind of mentality. It’s quite prevalent with other believers that we deal with. The next question is, who is your leader? The “take us to your leader” kind of thing. Who is in charge? Who controls things? Who makes sure everything is done smoothly? Nothing will go on if that person is not there.
It’s another one of those things that we’ve all been brain-dirtied by. If we lay out the definitions of things Biblically, Jesus is the Head and we’re the members by definition, right? Well a person with two heads is a freak. There’s something seriously wrong with a person with two heads. And the Body of Christ doesn’t have two heads. It doesn’t even have one big head and some other little heads. But what it does have are different members. The eyes see, the ears hear, the hands can feel. There is proprioception for direction. There is balance in the inner ear. There are some amazing things, many of which are even invisible such as the inner ear, that make life possible.
In the Body of Christ when we’re functioning correctly, if you’re writing a letter I guarantee you that your hand is very dominant in that. Your eyes are helpful in handwriting a long message, but they’re not really even required as long as you have some sense of balance and flow. You’re not going to be writing in all different directions. As long as you keep your orientation right you don’t even have to have your eyes to write a long letter with your hand. But your hand is going to dominate that process for that time because the required task requires a particular part of the body to play a dominant role.
Can your foot write that same letter? Well, I think we’ve all seen video tape of people who lost their arms and wrote long letters with a pen between their toes. Can other parts of the body function and accomplish the same goal? Absolutely. It can be done. We can find a way to do it. Paul wrote to Timothy and said, “Do the work of an evangelist.” Philip is the only one in the entire New Testament ever called an evangelist. Timothy was never called an evangelist. He was told to do the work of an evangelist. That’s very different. Philip was an evangelist and Timothy was to do the work of an evangelist. “I pray that you’ll be active in sharing your faith so that you’ll know every good thing we have in Christ Jesus.” That was written to Philemon from Paul. Peter wrote, “Be ready to give a reason for the hope that lies within you” to the saints scattered in Bithynia and all these other places. So we know that all of us are supposed to do something of the work of an evangelist.
There’s a gift of teacher in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. In Ephesians 4 there’s a gift of teacher, but the Hebrews writer said, “You all ought to be teachers by now.” So there’s a gifting and then there’s a function and those two things aren’t always the same thing. I can write with my feet, maybe. But my hand is what is made for that.
So there will be different situations that require different things. In Indianapolis it would be almost impossible to find me really having much to say in most situations. There are times when I definitely barge in when it hits on something that God has highlighted to me. But you’d get a different idea if you were there, than if you just listen to excerpts of mp3s because somebody else picks those mp3s. I don’t have anything to do with that. What they’ll do is take a five-hour time when the church is together and they’ll extract the things that had the most meaning or the most power and make that available to other people. And that might be Dan saying something or maybe three things Mike said.
However, if you actually looked at it from a time standpoint what you might find is that Mike had something to say for approximately ten minutes out of five hours! He didn’t start the meeting. He didn’t end the meeting. He didn’t decide what was going to happen during the meeting. But he happened to have something to say for ten minutes out of five hours and some of that made it into an mp3 file. But Mike did not start that meeting. Mike hasn’t started a meeting in fifteen years as far as Mike can remember. Nobody expects me to. And they don’t care.
If I’m not there they might miss me because they love me. They might wonder, “Where is Mike?” if they didn’t know I was out of town or something. But it has nothing at all to do with the meeting. And it won’t stop it or slow it down. Nobody is hindered in any way by my not being there. Nor do they expect me to do anything if I am there. They’re grateful when I do if I offer something valuable. But nobody is looking at me expecting me to do anything, because they know I’m just a brother.
And environments are different. There are a lot of wonderful believers in Indianapolis that can’t do what we are doing right now because their gift has more to do with the local encouragement of the Body of Christ. It has to do with more local or domestic situations we could say. And so their gift isn’t for an environment of a bunch of people they’ve never met with culture barriers and language barriers. They don’t have a lot of insight into where people are coming from in that scenario, so they say things that are important to them, but not necessarily important to the people they are talking to :)
They know those things, but they don’t really have the insight and the gifting to know what really ought to be said if they’re only going to be there a few hours and want to deposit something that will change lives and then they have to leave. They could share what God has done in them, and as real as it is to them, it might not have application.
All the gifts are different. The Holy Spirit gives gifts as He pleases and all the gifts are different. I don’t write letters with my belly button or my elbow, I write them with my hand. If you want to write a letter you need a hand.
So what is leadership? And I would submit that leadership is Jesus! That sounds simple enough, but what I mean by that is if Jesus needs encouragement to happen, then He will use the gift of encouragement, if the other gifts will get out of the way and shut up. “When revelation comes to the second let the first one sit down” (1 Cor. 14:30). If He wants to encourage His people at a moment when some sort of discouragement sets in, He’ll use the gift of encouragement to do so as long as the priesthood is able to be free enough to let every single member do its part. So that person then becomes the leader.
Who is your leader? Well, if we’re all discouraged, our leader is the person with the gift of encouragement. If on the other hand, we’re all kind of stupid about a particular subject, then who is our leader? Maybe it’s the half a dozen people with the gift of teacher because they educate us in connecting the dots in the Scriptures. “Ohhh yeah.. that’s right. That makes sense. Okay, I get it.”
Now if there happens to be a wolf in the pack and he shows up to try and shred the lambs, then who is our leader? Well, for the first time in this discussion it’s the shepherd. The word “pastor” is not in the Bible. The word shepherd is in the Bible and that’s a gift amongst many gifts. That’s the first time in everything we’ve said so far that we even need a shepherd, right? If we need a teacher, that’s different. Maybe a shepherd has a gift of teaching, but they don’t have to. It’s not required. Those are two different gifts. Apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd, and teacher—maybe the gift of shepherd doesn’t have to be a teacher.
So who is our leader? Well the answer is…Anointing. Who is anointed for the task for the moment? My hand is the leader if I’m writing a letter. If I’m playing table-tennis my hand is the leader. If I’m running, my hands are not the leader—my feet, my legs, my lungs and my heart are the leaders. The point is that Jesus is the Head. Jesus is the Leader. Who is our leader? The real answer if we’re functioning properly, really is Jesus. Because that covers the base of any gift that Jesus gives. It’s free to do whatever it’s anointed to do when the need arises. Therefore, Jesus is the Leader.
If we say that Jesus is the Leader but we have some kind of false hierarchy in place where an official person starts the meeting, an official person ends the meeting, an official person plans the meeting, an official person always teaches at the meeting and no one else can, then Jesus isn’t the leader. You’re just saying that. You’re lying. You’re the leader. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have two heads.
But to say it properly: Jesus is the Leader means that every single person in the Body of Christ is in fact free. They have liberty to, “When revelation comes to the second, let the first one sit down.”
Therefore, I can prove Jesus is our Leader because the Anointing of the gift of encouragement or prophesy or teaching or whatever, has the liberty to express itself at any given time. The gift of shepherd isn’t squashing all the other gifts and controlling the meeting. So leadership is Jesus if Anointing dictates what we do. Jesus is not the leader if the so-called “pastor” is. Jesus isn’t even part of it all if we don’t allow that kind of liberty.