Understanding Church Leadership 16

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By Pastor Raphael Adegoke 

16Woe to you, O land whose king is a youth, and whose princes feast in the morning. 17Blessed are you, O land whose king is a son of nobles, and whose princes feast at the proper time—for strength and not for drunkenness. (Eccl 10: 16-17)

What a marvelous God we serve! It is wonderful dining and winning at His table once again today. Happy new month. Last Tuesday, we considered “Commitment to Growth” as one of the attributes of a true servant-leader, but today, we shall be considering emancipation.

While the dictionary defines emancipation as the process of giving people social or political freedom and rights, I define it as the process of giving people spiritual, social or political freedom, rights and privileges. There is no other master we can learn this from aside God Himself. Despite being God, He has given everyone the freedom of choice, and as a proof that the freedom of choice is wholehearted; He made man a free moral agent; if not, He would have made man a robot that would be forced into the worship of Him and service to Him without freedom of choice.

What many people call leadership today is nothing else than well packaged slave-mastery. It’s highly pathetic today that this is not just obtainable in the secular but also in spiritual leadership. That was why it was established in the early part of this series that, though everybody in leadership position ought to develop his leadership skills, yet better to ask for gift of leadership. While leadership skill is needed in the secular, leadership gift is needed for spiritual offices. That’s why secular leadership orientation may not yield any eternal value when applied in spiritual leadership.

Everyone in spiritual leadership should know that our primary objective in leadership is to introduce our followers to the true Christ. How do I mean? There are many fake “christs” in the world today. These we see manifest in people’s orientations, words and actions. This, sometimes makes us to ask if it is the orientation, words or actions of the Christ we know that many Church leaders manifest.  The greatest man and leader of the Old Testament (John) demonstrated this to us by physically introducing Christ to the people and the people to Christ. “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

Once we are able to introduce Christ to our followers and our followers to Him, and they have got to genuinely meet each other, at that point our influence over them must decrease for Christ’s influence to increase.“29The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom stands and listens to him, and is overjoyed to hear the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30He must increase; I must decrease. 31The One who comes from above is above all. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks as one from the earth. The One who comes from heaven is above all.” (John 3:29-31).

 It is unfortunate today that many leaders will prefer to increase their influence over a people than to allow for Christ’s influence to increase over them. This is one of the reasons many leaders want to hold onto their leadership positions and titles forever, because they think losing it will lead to their decrease or decrease of their influence over the people.

It must be noted that the ones we lead need do not need to produce the kind of aroma our sense of smell wants to perceive before we allow for a people’s emancipation, because the one who has called them and has just made us a means to an end in their lives is able to produce out of them the kind of aroma He wants to perceive from them.

By all human standard, Peter and the disciples weren’t thorough for emancipation at the time Jesus left them. Was it not the same Peter who deserted and denied Him three times when he was needed most? Was it not the disciples that could not recognize Jesus on the road to Emmaus just after three days? Was it not the disciples that had gone back to fishing in less than three days? Yet these people turned got the world set on fire for Christ. This was Christ working on them and through them.

Pastor Raphael Adegoke is a Pastor in Christ Apostolic Church (Nigeria & Overseas) and a Lecturer in Christ Apostolic Church Theological Seminary.

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