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"Is there a leadership problem in our society and churches at large?"

Aug 20th, 2013 by Dr. Edward L. Hall

Let us be realistic, there are those in our society and in our churches who have misdefined the capacity of leadership. They are so many who have attempted or desire to attempt certain roles in our society as well as in our churches as leaders without the know-how, and the love for the capacity to assist skillfully, and use the best interest to make a difference in the lives of individuals in a diverse setting. It is stated in Matthew 20:20-23, “20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” It is so interesting that this mother walks up to Jesus and communicates to him to allow her sons to sit on his left and right hand of Jesus in the kingdom. And Jesus communicates to them, "Do you know what you are asking? Are you able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And the two sons stated, "We are able."

            Like these young sons of Zebedee’s, I admire them for their zeal and their persistence to want to lead, one on the right hand of Jesus and the other on the left hand of Jesus. However, wanting to lead and having the confidence to lead without vision and or perception is costly. We have choked on two mainstreams of misunderstandings: one is our social misconnection with people—we've misplaced our leadership as influence. Influence is good when it has direction and honesty attached to it. The second is theology— God is not in the right place of our hearts, so we have misplaced "Christ" to be an integral part of our spiritual leadership. What does this mean looking at these two mainstreams mentioned? As individuals desirous to be leaders, we have become hostile and have self-deceived ourselves on the position and not caring for relevant change for the good for all people from all backgrounds of life. So, it is from this foundation, we facilitate the perforation in leadership today, imaging it as a complication of drawbacks, when the real complication of leadership is its harmful effect in our social order and church regulations. Just citing all the things that are going on in our world today politically, in our homes where there is a lack of fathers, and in our churches there is definitely a crisis in leadership in our world, and churches.

            When Jesus gave the example of the sons wanting to sit down on his left and right hand, everyone knew that Jesus was an influential leader. I truly believe that leadership is influence, however, we must face the fact that not all influences portray leadership. As humans in the social order of the world as well as in the church, we have been thrown environmentally off to recognize the right influence of individuals who should lead us. We base everything on the status of who we know as the “good ole boy” term. So we are confused because we do not comprehend what leadership truly looks like in our day. We must remember, whenever we talk about leadership, it is connected with the community, the needs of the social order, and its challenges and the cultural directing of people in the world and in our church settings.

            Is there a leadership problem in our society and in churches today? In Israel’s day there was a tribal leader. In churches today, preachers and pastors are leaders in the church. In the social business sector, it takes honest businessmen to lead. In certain countries, certain men lead as a president in those countries for the democratically progressiveness of the people. These positions solicit much more than influence. They invest in the minds of individuals who are willing to be led with a sincere and genuine character. We must remember again, the discipline of individuals, the Church and Christian disciple is whatever is entailed in being a follower of Christ (Matthew 16:24, 25).  It is this scene the first disciples displayed literally going where Christ went, contributing in his wants and joys (Luke 22:28) and, beyond, adapting their minds and wills to his teaching (Philippians 2:5). When we perform the same, this leads to honest and influential leadership that meets the needs of people in a real world.