Leadership in a Culture of Cowardice (part ten)

We’re looking at the fourth characteristic of effective pastoral leadership: Stand, as an exemplar, in the sabotage and backlash that must come.

Consider the example of Jesus as revealed in John Chapter 12. By this point Jesus has become so popular that even the Hellenized Greeks are seeking him out. [Jn 12:20-24]

They ask Philip for an audience with the Master. At this moment, Jesus’ devoted followers may be at the pinnacle of their popularity. Imagine Philip’s enthusiasm as he tells Andrew the great news!

The two go together to let Jesus know that so-and-so has requested to see him. Rather than assign one of them to schedule his appointments with dignitaries he ignores the request and instead he talks to the two of them about of his impending sacrificial death.

26 grain“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies….”

Neither the admiration nor the disdain of the crowds and his closest followers seems to deter Jesus from his mission.

Jesus does not simply take a stand.

He is a stand.

Having taken full responsibility, before the Father, for his being and destiny, Jesus’ lives as if his every movement, his attitudes, his words, and even his silence are on purpose. His Father’s purpose. To establish the Kingdom of God in the lives of women and men.

This is what leaders do.

Acclimate yourself to the rigor of taking total responsibility, before God, for your own responses to your environment and circumstances. Friedman notes: “Leaders must not only not be afraid of that position, they must come to love it.”

So, you ask, where do I get that kind of courage? How could I ever come to love being ridiculed and adored, being evaluated and critiqued, judged all the time?

What if you have it all, already? What if you’ve been given all the courage you’ll ever have, or need?

What if you have it now in Christ? If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation… [I Cor 5:17]


God’s power has given us everything we need for life and godliness… [2 Pt 1:3]