In the corporate world, it’s typical that if you want to talk to the boss, you GO and see him in his office. That’s the norm. Unfortunately, that mindset is also commonplace among Christians. If you want to meet with God, you have to GO to church, GO see the pastor, GO attend a prayer service, GO for a retreat, GO into your private study for a time of devotion. Is that really who God is? God the C.E.O.? God, the BOSS? God, with the big office, oversized chair, humongous wooden desk, and hand clasped in front of him, waiting for our reports on souls saved, sermons preached and programs organized?
I personally do not find such a God described in the Bible. Yes, he is almighty. Yes, he is omniscient. Yes, he can tell the storm to “shut up” and it will. But the picture of Jesus I see is of one who would walk on water to get to his disciples to calm their nerves, of one who seeks out Adam and Eve after they sinned, so he could clothe them, of one who “came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) The God we worship is one who “appeared to him from far away.” one who tells us “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
Our picture of God can and will likely impact how we lead our community. Will we be driving our team to achieve goals and get results, or will we guide them to spiritual maturity so that they naturally bear fruits for the kingdom? Will the values that define the interaction between leaders and their teams be of love, compassion, and interdependence, or will it be filled with hatred, bigotry, and self-reliance? When groups of Christian leaders get together, will it look more like a corporate networking event, or will it resemble the gathering of a community of faithful believers?
I believe that the faith community needs more C.L.O.s – Chief Loving Officers and fewer C.E.O.s. Our working environment needs to be more about expanding who we include and not who we exclude. We must remember that we are not just colleagues, associates, or partners; we are brothers and sisters in Christ! We are co-laborers for Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, for the Kingdom of God!
In a society where weaknesses are taboo and have to be hidden, we need to create space where we can all be vulnerable and safe. A place where we can be open with another and lean on one another for strength. As important as skills and talents are, I believe that character should trump them. A good Christian leader should be about resembling Jesus more and more, day by day. Our leadership must flow from being filled by the Holy Spirit and pouring out what the Spirit has poured into us.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)