What if we’ve gotten “Leadership” wrong?

What if we’ve gotten “Leadership” wrong?

What’s the difference between being a first-live-er and a first-tell-er?

I’d start by outing the western view and lack of a Biblical practice of leadership. Why are western churches so obsessed with a structure where a few special people (talent, presence, temperament, inheritance) define leadership?

I am so grateful for the towel wearing leadership of John the Baptist, Jesus and Paul… 

Rather than focus on special vision, special leaders, I am excited to wake up each day to walk with friends and let the Holy Spirit (kavanah style) lead me, lead us…

The greatest leadership vision, action, example of leadership is when you and I live Jesus’ GO MAKE DISCIPLES, together vision, starting with our family. 

We’re not leaders when we gorge ourselves on leadership reading, more leadership workshops and more leadership copying…

We’re leaders when we help others lead. When we multiply at home and with friends. When we break out of our silo’s and walk alongside and not above… leaders don’t rise above, they crawl alongside.

The gift of leadership is mentioned in only one gift list and that was to refer to it as a LESSER gift… instead Paul elevated, hospitality, towel wrapped servanthood and friendship. Please learn to lead as a role and not a position.

I love how 1 thessalonians 5:11-14 calls each of us to be disciplemakers who live alongside (encourage, Thayer) in a mutual/reciprocal way (one other, Thayer) who mutually leave each other with more (build, Thayer).

Then Paul refers to ways we can honor those in the role of leadership for their example and hard-work (first-live-ers) who offer spiritual example and guidance through an accessible life… (1 th 1 to 5).

Next PAUL returns to invite each, all of us to lead in each other’s lives like positive, hard-working leaders have modeled…

From my understanding of Jesus: Inflow, overflow, multiply are a flat org chart we’re all called to live, share, own and release. We are disciplemaking friends not leaders… and it starts in our homes.

My vote: Let’s drop the leader, follower dialogue… let’s erase our leadership boxes and layers then instead… be kavanah living, disciplemaking first-live-ers who lead by helping others multiply.

What if we’ve gotten leadership wrong?

The best reason to study Scripture

Have you ever taken note of what the Bible says about itself? I did a little word study on that once, and here’s a brief snapshot of how the authors of Scripture describe it:

Your Word is flawless, more precious than gold, sweeter than honey;
it’s my delight, my counselor, my comfort;
it’s eternal, boundless, trustworthy, true, and right
it’s a lamp for my feet and a light for my path;
it’s like a fire in my heart;
it’s alive and active, sharper than a double-edged sword,
it penetrates to the soul and judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart;
it is God-breathed and useful for teaching training in righteousness;
it is truth;
it sanctifies us;
it’s the joy of my heart;
it’s the way to life.

Wow. This is quite the book we hold in our hands. It is a reflection of the amazing God who wrote it for us, through the human authors. And His Spirit goes with His Word and empowers it.

The ancient rabbis taught that kavanah was necessary in four facets of life: prayerfulness, studying Scripture to know God, loving others, and doing your life’s work as an act of worship.

Pray, study, love, live.

They held that to really honor God, we must pray, study, love and live with intentionality—paired with an expectancy that God is here and that he will work.

To know God himself

Ultimately, the best reason to study Scripture to know God. The Bible is an essential, incredible part of the life of a Christ-follower’s life. It’s in Scripture that we get to know God’s heart and see how he’s acted on behalf of his people and his name throughout history. In it we glean wisdom and learn God’s will. Of course, ultimately, we get to know God Himself, and that profoundly shapes every other area of our lives. And the more we know Him, the more we love Him, which is the most important of all (Mark 12:28-30).

We pray that today, you’ll open your Bible with fresh eyes. Approach God’s word with kavanah: with intentionality and commitment, but also with an awed expectancy that the power of the Most High is at work in its pages and wants to be at work in your life because of it. We pray that you not only read it, but you study it, love it, learn it, and live it. It’s in keeping it that there is great reward.

Hitting the kavanah bullseye

Kavanah is one of the key words we Cadre missionaries use often.

It’s a Hebrew word that helps us understand how God empowers us to live as disciplemakers. In its simplest form, kavanah means “to aim.” In disciplemaking, it describes the place where my disciplined actions meet God’s active presence in my life.

If disciplemaking is about following Jesus together, every day, we need his power to do it. And kavanah helps us see how.

We find the roots of Kavanah in the Babylonian Talmud. Berakoth 32b says, “Our Rabbis taught: Four things require to be done with kavanah, namely, [study of] the Torah, good deeds [loving others and showing kindness], praying always, and one’s worldly occupation.”

Kavanah is how we hit the bullseye as a disciple. It enables us to be filled up by Jesus, anticipating what God is going to do in us, through us and around us.

We practice these disciplines, depending on the help of the Holy Spirit to hit the kavanah bullseye:

1. Studying God’s Word to connect with him share what we’re learning about him.

2. Prayerfulness

3. Loving others as an overflow of God’s extravagant love for us.

4. Living a life that’s worship, as we work, play and invest in our friends and family.

As we study, pray, love and live together, we hit the bullseye as disciples who makes disciples, who make disciples.

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Hitting the bullseye together

In 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, Paul explains this to his friends:

“So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. 12 Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Paul reminds his friends they aren’t left on their own to follow Jesus. He is praying that God will enable them to live out their life with Jesus as they walk each day. Paul clearly expresses the kavanah bullseye: God will help you (enable, empower, prompt) to live with him and with each other in the way he desires, the way Jesus described in Acts 1:8:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Remember, Acts 1:8 isn’t a missionary verse. It’s a disciplemaking promise for every follower of Jesus.

Kavanah describes hitting the bullseye of God’s target for your life. God’s power and presence guide the flight of the arrow. Words like enable, empower, and prompt are beautiful pictures of the way God guides our lives toward his target: us living a disciplemaking life, for his glory!

This life includes walking in step with friends as we support one another in following Jesus. When Paul says to “to live a life worthy of his call,” he expects the Thessalonians will already understand what he means by a worthy life.

To live a life worthy of God’s call, we’ve got to following Jesus with friends, in the kavanah power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

  • When did you last sense God’s prompting…and obey?
  • How can you walk in God’s power today to make disciples with your family and friends?