Kingdom Leadership – Security

As a pastor and church leader I have read countless books and attended many conferences on leadership. Although these tools have been enriching and assisted me in the area of leadership, I have learned that if one foundational truth is missing all the books and seminars have little value. I believe the foundation of Kingdom Leadership is security.

You can be blessed with natural gifts of leadership, but if you miss security the results can be devastating for you and those God has called you to lead. Evidence of this can be found in the lives of King Saul and King David. Saul was gifted with incredible natural abilities to be a powerful leader, yet led out of insecurity, which ultimately destroyed him and his family. In contrast the shepherd boy David, even overlooked by his father when the prophet Samuel was searching for a leader, found security in God’s love and was chosen to have the Messiah come from his family line.

In John 13 we see Jesus, the Son of David, leading out of a deep-seeded security. Verse 3 states the source of His security:

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God; so He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist…”

Jesus was the greatest of all leaders because He “knew the Father.” Jesus could deal with harsh criticism from religious leaders, overwhelming disappointment when the crowd missed His message, and even rejection from family and close friends because His Dad loved Him. Jesus didn’t lead out of fear or insecurity, but out of a loving heart deeply anchored in His Daddy’s overwhelming love.

I have a long ways to go in leading like Jesus, but I do recall that when I started to grasp the Father’s love for me my leadership started to change. I realized how my insecurities led to a striving spirit that worried about pleasing man and earning the Father’s favor, which left me exhausted. I recognized that the most important thing I could do as a spiritual leader at home and in the church was to spend time with my Heavenly Father and receive His love for me. Throughout the gospels Jesus teaches that knowing the Father is His number 1 priority, in fact He displayed this by often leaving a crowd to find a quiet place to talk with His Dad. After a season of being renewed in His Father’s presence He was able to show the people what His Father’s love looked like.

When we are secure in the Father’s love for us we are able to be Kingdom Leaders, it doesn’t matter whether we have natural leadership gifts. Kingdom Leadership flows from the river of Abba Father’s love for you. As you and I drink from the river the flows from the Father’s love seen best at Calvary in the death of His Son, we become conduits of that love that touches those around us.

Kingdom Leadership – Love Displayed

My father-in law has always been an exceptional leader. He led as a school principal for over 40 years helping to create environments where students and teachers thrived. For 6 years I experienced this first hand as I inhabited his office with fellow classmates who I tangled with on the playground. Instead of a stern rebuke, which was deserved, he smiled and handed my fellow fighting partner and me a puzzle and said, “When you finish this you can have your recess back.” Even though I despise puzzles to this day it was an ingenious way to restore a relationship as one was forced to work closely with his opponent and by the end a friendship was formed.

Yes, even though I graced the principal office to many times to count I was still allowed to marry his daughter and be apart of the family for almost 30 years. These past few years I have watched my father –in law lead in an unforgettable way. He used to lead literally hundreds of people but now, most of the time, it is down to one, his beloved wife of over 50 years who battles memory loss. Patty and I recently spent a few days with them and we witnessed Ray pouring out unconditional love to Jan in affirming words and countless actions. Just as he did during my elementary school years he teaches how to lead in love in the midst of a battle that won’t be won. He continues to give even when love is not always received or understood.

Watching my father-in law lead in sacrificial love brought to mind one of the greatest passages of leadership in the Bible John 13:1-17, Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. This text starts out by saying:

Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world he now showed them the full extent of His love (vs. 1).

The goal of Jesus’ mission on earth was to bring the Father’s love to an orphan planet. Jesus’ final act of love on the cross was only a day away and yet He takes the time to show the future leaders of the church what Kingdom Leadership looked like. If you want to lead in the Kingdom it will require a love that brings you to your knees-washing the dirty feet of both friend and foe.

As Patty and I watched the second presidential debate I noticed my father-in-law’s hand gently holding his wife’s hand. I thought about the contrast of the world’s view of leadership that promotes power fueled by fear and how the Kingdom of God promotes sacrifice fueled by the by the love of heaven seen best at the cross. When I asked my father-in law how he gets through each day, he said, “Tim, I pray daily for the love of God to fill me with patience and strength to love Jan, and He does.”

As we live in a culture void of Kingdom Leadership, hear the voice of God call us back to the model given to us by Jesus in John 13. May we fervently pray for the Holy Spirit to fill us anew with Heaven’s love to follow Christ’s example.


Jesus on Colfax – Interview with Shawn Sikkema

Every Tuesday night Patty and I join a ministry called Jesus on Colfax lead by Shawn & Diane Sikkema. Jesus on Colfax seeks to bring the love of Jesus Christ to one of the roughest communities in the Denver area. I pray that you will be blessed as you listen to this interview with Shawn and hear about their call to be to join the work of Jesus on Colfax.

To learn more about this ministry go to:


Following the Father – Know the Truth

In today’s social media crazed world Jesus could be considered The Father’s Instagram Post! Furthering that idea I thought one post about Jesus could be a video showing the heavens ripping open and God’s voice bellowing out at Jesus’ baptism and another similar post might be at the transfiguration. With such a visual post we can see without a doubt that God the Father has an immense love for His Boy. After Jesus’ baptism a Holy Spirit-filled Jesus heads off to war against Satan in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13). This time the Father posts an Instagram of His Son in the thick of a spiritual battle. In this battle Jesus demonstrates for us how to conquer such situations and temptations in our own lives.

Jesus’ temptations are real and Satan knows exactly where to aim his repugnant arrows. In each case Satan goes after the Son’s identity found in the Father’s love. This crafty one states, “if you are the Son of God” turn the stones into bread and feed your hungry stomach and another time he says, “if you are the Son of God” jump off the high point of the temple and dazzle the crowds to prove your Father’s love. Satan does the same to us by trying to convince us to turn away from the Father’s love and worship his temporal lures for satisfaction. Satan says all we need to do is give our heart’s allegiance to him and in exchange we get all the pleasures of the world without having to “carry the cross” of our Father’s will (Luke 4:8-9). What a lie from the father of lies!

This post from our Father begs us to tuck in behind our Savior Jesus Christ. We need to follow Him through the maze of temptations we face each day from the enemy telling us the Father’s love is not enough. Jesus stands on the rock solid promise of His Father’s Word every time His identity is attacked and we must do the same. Notice Jesus’ response to the first temptation:

Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).


Jesus’ identity was not rooted in the things of the world but rather in the Words of the Father. For you and me the greatest “word that comes from the mouth of God” is “Jesus!” The Father sent Jesus to show what His love looks like culminating in the victory over sin and Satan at the Cross. Jesus’ finished work enables us to war against the onslaught of the enemy’s attacks and temptations.

Know that by being a follower of Christ temptations will come, and by hiding The Word in your heart and knowing that because of the cross of Christ you have the victory. Your identity and security is in Christ! Go ahead and like that post!!