Kingdom Principle: Anointing not Appointing is the bases of Kingdom Servant Leadership
|Psalm 1461 Kings 17:8-16, (17-24)||Galatians 1:11-24||Luke 7:11-17|
The last two posts have established two truths: there are to be Kingdom Leaders & Kingdom Servants – yet when we bring these two realities together, we discover that the Leaders and Servants are to be one in the same – they are Servant Leaders. Let me say that more directly, you cannot be a Kingdom Leader, without also being a Kingdom Servant.
This is not to say that there is no uniqueness in the aspects of being a Kingdom Servant and a Kingdom Leader. The Kingdom Leader is outwardly marked with Favor, Credibility and Character. The Kingdom Servant is inwardly marked with Intimacy, Fecundity and Ecstasy. This inward call of the Holy Spirit develops the conviction and responsibility which leads to the resiliency of a Kingdom ServantLeader.
This post is not about what a Servant Leader is, nor how to become a servant leader, I have written elsewhere on that – based on Robert Greenleaf’s work. Here I wish to address the anointing of a servant leader and how appointing can actually interfere or contaminate with the purity of the anointing.
We see in Galatians this week – Paul doing everything he can do to remove any possible appointing from the other apostles. Paul knows the danger of trusting in the power granted from appointing. Leaders who are appointed are voted in or win the approval of the masses. Leaders who are anointed, are grafted into a role of leadership based on forces beyond themselves or the people whom they will lead. Elijah did not have the favor of the masses, but by God’s leading he did find favor with a widow had had very little to give, but gave everything she had. Elijah does not march into town and attempt to win favor based on his credibility with God, he simply follows the leading of the Lord and serves and is served.
There are two problems I will address here when the power of appointing verses anointing as the bases for one’s leadership. The first is disproportionate benefits exist in appointed leadership circles. The people at the top of appointed circles, make more money, have more power, and are served by those beneath them. Whereas in anointed Servant Leadership every person is equally and mutually benefited in the interaction of the experience. Stephen Covey calls this Win-Win. The ServantLeader in their act of leadership, causes others around them discover themselves more clearly and to become healthier due the service they experienced. It is not uncommon for a person being served to become dependent on the leader, if this is the outcome ,it was not Servant Leadership. To put in “church language” servant leadership is a form of discipleship. If the disciple does not learn and grow, then the leadership was not healthy.
The second issue of appointing verses anointing is one of promotion or advancement. This takes place because we have an unhealthy view of hierarchy. So out of this comes the idea that to be beneath someone is to be less than them or that to be a servant is to be weak. Therefore we seek to climb the ladder and advance to success and strength. This is a notorious problem of leadership in the church, we promote to incompetence. What that means is, if you serve in a capacity well, you are promoted to take on more responsibility. (regardless of if it is your calling to take on more responsibility… you almost can’t say No.) Therefore the youth volunteer, becomes a small group leader, the small group leader becomes an intern, the intern becomes a youth pastor, who then becomes a associate, then a senior pastor…. And then the truly most “gifted” become a denomination a leader or maybe a become a consultant to teach others how to succeed… most often this leader is no longer serving where they truly loved or were anointed to be. This is not intended to be a rejection of promotions or denomination leadership. Yet, I believe that God promotes out of suffering and trials, not worldly success, and that denomination leadership needs to be redefined by the gifts of Ephesians 4, and less by administration and business acumen. In the system of the church, Kingdom Leaders are often pulled apart from Kingdom Servants, because we reward and value Leadership, while making Service a burden. Kingdom ServantLeaders never see their contribution as a burden, it is a blessing to serve, to give and to move in the anointing as God designed.
One further truth is that Kingdom ServantLeaders acknowledge that their very gift or contribution is dependent on the anointing of the Spirit, and without that – their life and all they give is equivalent to the dust. There is no reason to put our trust in those who are marked as Leaders – if their leadership is not that of ServantLeadership, and if they are ServantLeaders our trust in their anointing not in their works.
Caution: This does not mean you should avoid all areas of appointed leadership! However you shall not seek it for the sake of having power, even if it is intended to extend the message of the gospel or ministry. To seek a role beyond what is your responsibility (based on God’s leading and anointing) is to be careless. This was the error of King David, he exchanged his power of anointing for the power of appointing. This is also the wisdom of Elisha at the end f Elijah, he asks for a double portion of his anointing. Anointing is all that matters to the Kingdom ServantLeader. So become the PTA president, not because you can or because others won’t, but rather because you can’t avoid or deny the passion burning inside of you to lead in that domain of education. Join the Chamber of Commerce board of directors not because it will expand your business, but rather because God has placed a burden for the city to seek peace and prosperity and you feel a conviction to help that cause. Lead a boy or girl Scouts Troup not because your child wants you too, but because God has anointed you with a gift for loving children and helping parents to connect with their children. (just because your child asks you to do something does not mean you should do it, even if it’s a good thing… that is an appointing on a very minor scale.) Each of these examples has to do with the domains of the Kingdom. Further, there is nothing wrong with being a doctor, who is required to have appointed leadership and to make more money than a fast-food worker. Position and Prosperity are not outside of the realm of ServantLeadership. (Look at Jim Collins description of the best CEO’s in the world – he calls them Level 5 Leaders and they are making a whole lot of money.) The difference is that they see their lives as given for a cause or something beyond themselves… This is business language – how much more might the church grasp these concepts for the Kingdom. Regardless of where God has anointed you to lead (which he has) once you discover it, if you fail to recognize that God gave this opportunity to lead for him verses how hard you worked to get there, you have exchanged an anointing blessing for an appointing blessing.
There is so much more I wish to say on Servant Leadership and I can only hope and trust the Scriptures will lead us there. The last things I will address from our Scriptures this week is that ServantLeaders have great authority, therefore acts of healing flow from them. This healing is holistic. The compassion that flows from Jesus is as much an act of healing as the act of raising the widow’s son from the dead. When you think of Paul, do you think of him more as a servant or a leader? The scriptures defend both his servant nature and his leadership qualities… and this must be true for us as well – we are to be Kingdom ServantLeaders.
How do you see those around you discovering more about themselves in your presence?
Which Domain do you feel most anointed for leadership? Government & Law, Business, Education, Medicine & Technology, Church, Communication & Service, Family, Arts & Leisure.
In your life have you been considered by others more of a servant or more of a leader? How might you seek the anointing of the Spirit to bring those into perfect balance?