Last year was the year of “Lincoln” for me. I really enjoyed Team of Rivals and a few other things I read on him. What struck me about his leadership was that he viewed himself “first among equals” and as a result did not do what most Presidents do. He did not surround himself with “yes men”. Lincoln shared power with his rivals.
I think that the Church has the opportunity to truly help the world by showing the world what “bipartisan” really looks like. Our leadership must reflect gospel reality. That means that those of us who are in positions of leadership must realize that we need a team of people around us to lead with us. To do this we have to let go of power and give it over.
The simple reason that “bipartisan” does not happen in Washington is because the folks there are constantly trying to consolidate their power.
If we are going to be agents of reconciliation in this world we must be a people who will daily choose to not consolidate power. We must be willing to live in the leadership tension that Paul speaks of (2 Cor 12:9), “But he [Jesus] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
This is verse in context is speaking about Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” and is not speaking specifically to leadership. However, I think that it provides a principle that can be applied to gospel leaders.
Most of us are not comfortable with our weaknesses. We hide them. We cover them up. We try to fix them. Paul says, “NO! Embrace them! Because through embracing them we are experience the power of Christ.”
This is the kind of leader that understands “bipartisan”. This is the kind of leader that shares power. Pray with me for our leaders that they would lead this way. Pray with me for the Church that we would lead this way and be an example for the world.