When will things return to “normal?”
The question is fraught with confusion: what – exactly – do we mean by “normal?” Pre-CV-19? Pre-election conflicts? Pre-Russia probe? Pre-Trump? Pre-internet? When were things “normal?”
It’s time to figure out how to fulfill your life’s essential mission, no matter the conditions surrounding us. What does it take to establish – and to protect – your place in the Kingdom leadership collaborative? There is an expectation of qualification: “To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.’” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).
In the United States Navy, when a ship runs aground, an inquiry begins immediately to find causation. For the officer(s) who were in charge at the time of the mishap, their decisions and conduct will be evaluated to determine responsibility. “Relieved of duty” is almost a given; court martial can be likely, which could result in anything from demotion to dismissal to criminal charges, depending on the nature of the situation, once adjudicated. Leaders don’t get a “pass;” they’re under stricter judgment.
In God’s Kingdom, the gravity of leadership is no less important. When God elevates a person to visible positions of influence to serve at His pleasure, for His glory, it’s not something to take lightly: “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” (Titus 2:8).
Last week, we were reminded that a lack of discipline and constraint in matters of relational intimacy (sex, to be explicit) has been a landmine responsible – over millennia – for disqualification of leaders in the Kingdom. In this installment, it’s all about money.
The Rich Young Ruler became the Rich Young Loser when he failed the test applied by Jesus: “’If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.” (Matthew 19:21-22). He had met the requirements for salvation under the Old Covenant, but he was looking for the breakthrough to maximize his potential – to be “perfect” – and realize his Kingdom leadership potential. Jesus called out his disqualifier: he wanted to be rich here and now, not in Eternity, in Heaven. Money was his roadblock to Eternal Significance.
In our generation, that challenge continues to reveal the seriousness of commitment by men and women who have the potential for great eternal impact, but lack the faith to pull the money trigger.
James MacDonald built a mega-church movement and media ministry – based in Chicago, but spread widely – that has crumbled around him. What could derail a 30-year investment of leadership in service to the Kingdom?
Read it here, as reported by the Christian Post. Their disclosure: “His termination ultimately came about as a result of lewd comments he made on a hot mic that were aired on a local radio station amid controversy over allegations that he had presided over an abusive church culture and had mishandled church resources while living an opulent lifestyle.”
Sex; Money; Power: technology changes constantly, but the temptations luring leaders to the death of their Kingdom influence are unchanging from generation to generation. No one is immune, but self-discipline can inoculate you against disqualification.