Leadership is Not Lordship

Leadership is Not Lordship

Visiting Old Salem in Winston Salem, NC we entered an old Moravian church. The guide showed us that the room [sanctuary] was designed so that the pastor or preacher was on the same level as the congregation members. The pulpit was a desk and the preacher would sit there on the same horizontal floor level as everyone else.

moravianchurchThey believed that we were all on the same level. That just because you were the preacher or pastor you shouldn’t be up on a platform higher than anyone else. We are all the same in God’s eyes.

I like that. Now, we use platforms in our modern worship buildings so that pastors and singers and other can be seen and heard better. But it is not so that we can elevate ourselves to a higher position than those on the “floor.”

Leadership is NOT Lordship.

Leadership is Not Lordship

The past two days I’ve been at Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City. They hosted the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. It is a gathering of over 150,000 leaders in 120+ countries.

GLSheaderThere were many great speakers and presenters that I heard this week. One man, Sam Adeyemi, is the Founder and Senior Pastor of Daystar Christian Centre in Nigeria.


He spoke about Crushing the Power Chasm.

Sam specifically talked about the distance between the leaders and the followers. He mentioned that some leaders in authority feel superior to the people that they lead.

There could be many reasons for that

  • culture [the norm of society where you have been raised]
  • education [you may feel like you know more than those you lead]
  • the “calling” you perceive yourself to have

Some leaders don’t think anyone else can do what they do. This creates a feeling of low self esteem in the followers.

I have experienced this myself in organizations and churches. After seeing and hearing the leaders put on a pedestal of superiority above everyone else I felt useless. I felt that I couldn’t do anything. I felt like I wasn’t worthy.

I finally broke out of that environment and moved on.

Leadership is Not Lordship

Sam reminded us of what Jesus said in John 14:12 [NIV]

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

So, if that is true, and Jesus is the Leader of leaders, then that would mean His followers would be doing and acting just like He did here on this earth. In fact, if you read the New Testament you’ll see what His own 12 disciples ended up doing.

Sam told us that the Shepherd’s job is to feed sheep.  His job was not to give birth to sheep. Shepherds birth shepherds. Sheep birth sheep. In other words, he was saying the Leader, Shepherd, Pastor, etc. is to feed the sheep what they need so that the sheep can go and reproduce more sheep. It is a great concept.

He said that Jesus overturned the power gap by giving His disciples the chance, the authority, the power to do the same works as He was doing.

Modern Application:

Leadership is NOT Lordship. That means the leader is not supposed to “Lord” over their followers, constituents, members, workers, etc. He/she is to lead by example giving the followers the tools they need to be successful.  Leaders should empower their followers.









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