The Kingdom of God is a spiritual reality, and this reality is based upon leadership: God’s leadership. God’s leadership is evidenced by Creation itself. Jesus accepted responsibility and received authority to Create all things. Both Colossians and Hebrews make it clear that Jesus is the Agent of the Godhead in creating all and is fully involved with what He has created. Father gave Him the kingdom.
But the Creator and Redeemer immediately created and redeemed leaders who are not God, leaders appointed and delegated to function in His Creation with redemptive responsibilities in the family, kingdom, and cultures of the earth. God’s involvement in family, kingdom, and government flows through leaders; and to the extent these leaders are kingdom leaders the kingdom is available and functioning in those sphere of influence and impact. Any family leader can accept or resist God’s leadership and release or restrict that leadership in the family. Any kingdom leader can accept or resist God’s leadership and release or restrict that leadership in the kingdom. Any cultural leader can accept or resist God’s leadership and release or restrict that leadership in the culture.
Leadership is universal, national, cultural, spiritual, and domestic, but all leadership begins with and seeks to function at the personal level. All leadership is personal leadership. And, the leadership of God meets the leadership of man at the personal level. The measurement of kingdom leadership is, therefore, the measurement of the personal leadership of the kingdom leader. The key to kingdom leadership is purpose; the key to personal leadership is principle.
In previous discussions we noted God’s provisions of created disposition, calling, charismata, ministry function, and the pathway to destiny fulfillment that includes predestination, principle, Providence, prayer, and the pathway itself. We also noted that what God provides is not the business of men while the part men do play in personal leadership is character, obedience, endurance, and maturity. God provides His part while we develop our part; that is, God doesn’t bestow character, obedience, endurance, or maturity upon us. We develop these attributes through personal leadership.
As good as Creation, calling, charismata, ministry function, and the pathway are, they are flowing through the personal leadership dynamics of character, obedience, endurance, and maturity. All that God is doing is perfect; all that man is doing is in process. For kingdom leadership to be effective, or perhaps we could say, the measurement of the effectiveness of kingdom leadership, the personal leadership dynamics of the leaders must be taken into consideration.
Majoring On Strengths, Being Intentional with Weaknesses
The concept of “staffing your weakness” is better stated “being intentional about weaknesses.” Sometimes the “staff my weakness” strategy creates a fatal flaw because the staffing produces irresponsibility that is more like “ignore my weaknesses” than “doing something intentional about them. My strengths will make some things obvious to me; my weakness will produce blind spots. If I ignore my weaknesses, even through staffing them with people who possess my weaknesses as strengths, my weaknesses will ultimately discredit my strengths. In reality, I cannot staff personal weakness, and all leadership is ultimately personal; therefore, my effort to staff my weakness cannot become avoidance. It can only work if I never give up the ultimate responsibility to be intentional about my weaknesses.
Staffing your weaknesses with “experts” and “professionals” will never replace your responsibility to personally address your weaknesses. The greatest kingdom leaders with the greatest staffs still fall because of their weaknesses. It happens month after month in the kingdom. The idea that “God deserves excellence” can be a trap. God doesn’t want your best: God wants it all! God wants your weaknesses as much as He wants your strengths. He created you with strengths and weaknesses, and He is planning on you reaching the end of your strengths and facing up to your weaknesses.
David had celebrated strengths and a glaring weakness, a fatal flaw that he failed to deal with from the moment Saul betrayed David in the promise of his daughter in marriage. Women were a problem for David ever after. This is an example of a David failing to face up to his weakness. David’s other issue – numbering the army of Israel – is an example of David’s reaching the end of his strengths. David failed in both of these tests because he failed to be personally responsible and involved intentionally with strengths and weaknesses. David’s also had celebrated strengths and glaring weaknesses. Ultimately, both kingdom leaders were discredited by their weaknesses.
The enemy attempts to limit our strengths while we attempt to posterize them. The enemy attempts to further weaken our weaknesses when we avoid or ignore dealing with them intentionally. A kingdom leader who learns to live with a weakness rather than intentionally dealing with it personally will find the weakness overwhelming his strengths. He will eventually normalize a dysfunction, and the “staffing his weakness” scenario becomes an excuse, an “emperor’s new clothes” fault line in his leadership.
Consider this: a man whose preaching his strength but his prayer life is his weakness cannot staff his weakness by hiring intercessors, or “leaving the intercession to the professionals” any more than a man can be a great preacher and hire someone to take his place as husband and father to his wife and family.
How many times have we seen someone who is weak with numbers and processes leave them to “the professionals” only discover that someone is stealing God’s money or that a lack of good sense has starved the kingdom assignment while feeding appearances and perceptions of success? The leader remains responsible for the assignment no matter who is involved in the strengths and weaknesses of its implementation. What I mean is that ultimately the personal leadership of the leader will mark the entire enterprise he is leading.
A good leader makes himself accountable to others as a means of shoring up his weaknesses and maximizing his strengths. Ultimately, surrender and submission strengthen his leadership in the sense of fullness and fulfillment more than enterprise and excellence in the sense of appearances and perceptions. Whited sepulchers reveal enterprise and excellence in terms of appearance and perception. “I am what I am by the grace of God” reveals more of the submission and surrender that produces the ultimates of kingdom leadership through the ultimates of personal leadership.