Who is leading who? What comes first, the chicken or the egg, the cart or the horse, the leader or the follower?
Kingdom leaders lead based on Who is in front of them not on who is behind them.
Decisions made based on followers may or may not be in keeping with the One who is ahead of us. All decisions made based on the One in front will always result in success, whether or not those who are following agree with us, or keep following us.
Kingdom leaders are ultimately responsible to the One who called us to leadership. He is the only One who hung naked and bleeding on the Cross.
Jesus, the Supreme Leader of His Kingdom said this about life in His Kingdom, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God” [Luke 9:62].
Does that sound harsh? Does that offend you? He is unapologetic in His quest to Advance His Kingdom into every kingdom on the planet.
Verse fifty-seven says this, “Now it happened as they journeyed on the road.”
Please notice Jesus was moving forward. Kingdom leaders must keep moving forward because to stand still is to actually move backwards. The reason for this is because His Kingdom is always advancing. People, and especially leaders who settle in one place may look like they are in step with Christ but they are in fact moving backwards.
Jesus’ statement on plowing was preceded by His extending invitations for people to follow Him. We can learn as much about Jesus and His methodology in what He did not say or do as we can from what He says, or does.
He issued the invitations and did not stop to discuss or debate their excuses on why they could not, or would not follow Him immediately. He kept moving while they were trying to sort out their issues. He fully expects people to drop whatever they need to drop in order to follow Him. It was that way in the first century and it is that way today.
Jesus and His Kingdom leaders move forward even when people can’t, or won’t move with Him.
What Jesus was intimating with His calculated statement was this, “If you start plowing you must keep looking forward because if you start looking back you will not plow a straight line.”
I am sure Jesus had seen some funny looking rows that farmers had plowed. I am sure these farmers had, at least in their mind, some valid reasons for turning back to see whatever distracted them.
The obvious conclusion to their decision was confusion. Try driving your car by constantly turning around to see where you have been. There is a reason the rear view mirror is tiny and the windshield is huge.
Also, it is not a good plan to keep looking back when oxen are in front. Kingdom leaders put up with a lot of c _ _ p but that doesn’t mean we have to step in it.
Chapter nine begins with Jesus commissioning His disciples into the only valid ministry He has ~ a supernatural ministry. Kingdom ministry is supernatural and all Kingdom leaders have a responsibility to lead supernaturally. There is no watered down version of His Gospel.
Any questions? I mentioned this in my previous blog titled WHAT IS COMPASSION?
Take note every time [in the Gospels] Jesus commanded His disciples to preach the Gospel of the [His] Kingdom. It is always, or nearly always accompanied by the command to at least heal the sick. And there are times like in Matthew 10:1-8 that we see a fuller expression of Kingdom life for leaders: Proclaim the Kingdom [King’s dominion] of God, heal the sick, cleanse lepers, cast out devils and raise the dead.
It would be a great study to follow Jesus’s ministry in the Gospels and connect every reference to Him preaching the Kingdom message and performing miracles as well.
People’s excuses never deter the Lord. He leads by example and He invites people to follow Him. But He leads!
It has been said if a person thinks he is leading and no one is following then all he is doing is taking a long walk. Really? Jesus’ walk through the Vila Delorosa was all alone. All of His followers bolted as soon as the heat was turned up. While He was hanging on the Cross His mom and John were there. The rest of “His buds” were in hiding. Others that “believed in Him” stood off at a distance. Was He just on a long walk?
Jesus took the stroll in full stride. He did not turn around. He did not slow down. He did not back down. No, He walked up that hill called Golgotha and lay down. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
Sometimes Kingdom leaders have to go it alone, especially apostolic leaders. There is a lot of teaching on the sign of an apostle being they have a large ministry or church. Paul, the apostle said this about the true sign of an apostle. “The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles” [2 Corinthians 12:12].
I don’t see anything mentioned about the size of the work. What I see mentioned is the size of the leader’s heart.
Kingdom leaders have a huge heart. It is out of that heart for God that they do not back down, slow down, turn around, or give up.
Perseverance is the first sign that a true apostle is among us. Every believer is called to persevere but apostolic ministry by its very nature requires perseverance.
To persevere means to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.
Can you say with me that if you know you are called to a task and no one believes in you, or is willing to pay the price with you that you are a success if you continue in your task?
Most people are squatters, not pioneers. Kingdom leaders have to be willing to pioneer until help arrives. Pioneering is very hard work. There are few who are willing to pay the ultimate price of dying for what they believe in.
Kingdom leaders must realize that there may be no glory in following Christ, especially if no one follows them. The litmus test of true Kingdom leadership is where does the leader’s ultimate loyalties lie.
Will the leader compromise his or her experience with God to have a position, title, a salary, or a following?
Will the leader compromise what the Scripture clearly says and duck out on pursuing all that Christ lived, modeled, died and rose again to impart to His people in order to have a title, position, salary or following?
WIll the leader compromise the Gospel of Christ’s Kingdom by diluting the Kingdom message so as not to offend people?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then I believe you have to ask yourself where is my loyalty.
As I have stated in previous blogs, Jesus and the early church leaders and members suffered horrible atrocities for their stand for Christ and His Kingdom.
Are we as leaders today expected to pay any less of a price to take that same stand?
While we are trying not to offend people with the purity of His Kingdom message have we offended the Author of it?
I cannot answer for you. But I know one thing for sure. I will not have to stand before Him at His judgment seat and try to explain how and why I did not want to offend people so I compromised.
Kingdom leaders should know that the proof of whether or not they are successful is not in the size of their work, but in the size of His smile.
For HIS Glory!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury