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.