the weblog of Alan Knox

When leaders guide you off the path

Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 in community, discipleship, elders | 31 comments

When leaders guide you off the path

My son, his girlfriend, and I were running on the roads in our neighborhood. There is one point where a new cul-de-sac comes very close to a middle school near our home. We stepped off the road and ran down a path through the woods to the parking lot of the school. We ran around the parking lot, then headed back to the path to our neighborhood.

But, it had gotten darker, and I missed the path. We ended up running through the woods for a few feet.

Last weekend, I went on a trail run with a few friends. Three of us (the old three) stayed together while some of the younger guys ran ahead. We were taking turns leading on the trails.

Suddenly, we found ourselves off the trail and running down a hill into the woods. We turned around and made our way back onto the trail and continued our run.

I offer these two examples to make this point: Occasionally, even when leaders have the best of intentions and even when they are doing the best they can, they will lead us off the path. We end up in a place where we are not supposed to be.

The problem is not in having leaders. Scripture speaks of leaders (some prefer the term guides, which is fine). We will have leaders, whether they are recognized as more permanent leaders or they are temporary leaders for a specific time or project. Whether a group is more or less organized, there will be leaders.

And, guess what? Those leaders will make mistakes. No one is perfect. Even when someone is attempting to follow God and helping others follow God, that person will make mistakes.

This leads me to a very important question: What do we do when we realize that a leader (or a group of leaders) has guided us off the path?

Obviously, there are several ways to answer this question, and I think the way that we approach the answer tells us alot about what we think about leaders among the church, the work and responsibility of the church as a whole, and the presence of God with his children.

So, what would you do if you realized that someone has led you off the path? What if this mistake did not affect only you, but others as well?

How would this mistake affect your attitude toward the person(s) leading you?

How would you expect the leader(s) to respond when others realize that they have led them off the path? How should they respond if they do not believe they have misled people?

Again, I think these are very important questions that are rarely considered among the church. However, I think the mistakes in leadership happen often, even among those who are godly and who are genuinely seeking to help others.


31 Comments

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  1. 1-31-2012

    HI Alan

    You write…
    “The problem is not in having leaders.”
    “Scripture speaks of leaders… there will be leaders.”

    Maybe the “Problem” is – Who do you want as your “Leader?”
    God – Or – A mere Fallible Human? ;-)

    1 – Do folks really want A Mere Fallible Human as their leader?

    Yup!!! God gives you what you ask for and “A Little Bit Extra.”
    Seems the Israelites no longer wanted God to be their “Leader.”
    They asked for a King to be like the other people. How’d that work for them? ;-)

    1 Sam 8:11-19 KJV
    Your King will take your sons.
    Your King will take your daughters.
    Your King will take your fields.
    Your King will take your vineyards.
    Your King will take your oliveyards.
    Your King will take the tenth of your seed.
    Your King will take your menservants.
    Your King will take your maidservants
    Your King will take your asses.
    Your King will take the tenth of your sheep.
    and you shall be the Kings servants…

    1 Sam 8:19
    Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel;
    and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us…

    Maybe Kings, mere fallible human “Leaders,” are NOT such a good idea after all?

    Isaiah 3:12 KJV
    … O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err,
    and destroy the way of thy paths.

    Isaiah 9:16 KJV
    For the leaders of this people cause thee to err;
    and they that are led of them are destroyed.

    Matthew 15:14 KJV
    Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind.
    And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

    Alan – You’re correct – Mere Fallible Human Leaders “will” lead you astray.
    Maybe that’s why Jesus taught His Disciples NOT to be called “Leader.”

    2 – Or do folks really desire Jesus/God to be their “Leader?”
    To hear His Voice – And Follow Jesus?

    Mat 23:10 NASB
    And do not be called leaders; for “ONE’ is your Leader, that is, Christ.

    Rom 8:14 KJV
    For as many as are *led by the Spirit of God,* they are the sons of God.

    Gal 5:18 KJV
    But if ye be *led of the Spirit,* ye are not under the law.

    Tried following “Human Leaders.” Lot’s of pain, tears, and Spiritual Abuse. :-(

    NOT anymore – Thank you Jesus.

    Let’s see… I can follow a Mere Fallible Human who “Will” lead me astray…

    Or… I can be His sheep – “Hear His Voice” and follow Jesus…

    Guess which “ONE Leader” I’m choosing… ;-)

    Jesus loves me this I know…

  2. 1-31-2012

    Amos,

    You said: ‘Maybe the “Problem” is – Who do you want as your “Leader?”
    God – Or – A mere Fallible Human?’

    No, that’s not the problem that I’m talking about at all. We’ve had the conversation enough that you know that. If you are following God – if he is your only king – then there will be times when you are following other people as well. If you are never following others, then you are not following God.

    So, now, when you are following God and following others, what do you do when you realize that someone has led you off of the path? What do you do when you realize that you have led others off the path?

    -Alan

  3. 1-31-2012

    Alan

    How about following Matthew 18:15-20 in both instances, “If a brother sins against you go tell him his fault….” and “If [you sin] against [your brother or sister] go tell [them your] fault……”.

    Harper

  4. 1-31-2012

    Harper,

    Is it a sin against me if someone leads me “off the path” unintentionally? That being said (or asked), I agree that it would be a good idea to go to that person and begin talking about the problem in order to remedy it.

    -Alan

  5. 1-31-2012

    I’ve been here before, a few times.

    One one occasion, the church pastor started doing some strange things (ie, extra-biblical). Now some things we do are ‘nothing’, and just added for good hearted reasons. I am sure his ‘good heart’ was right, but he started flying way off course. Despite being a leader myself in this church, I wasn’t close enough to him to raise my concerns directly (or at least feel I could), but I raised them with those around me that I could trust – ie, not in a gossip way, but a private, am I right thinking something is wrong here way.

    In the end many of us ended up leaving the church because ‘we were wrong’ – it even caused a close friends family to ‘split’ because one person was the associate pastor who fully agreed with the pastor, but the other did not agree. And it turns out now, if you don’t go to the church, they don’t talk to you anymore – a sure sign something is wrong.

    So in that case, we chose to leave because we couldn’t influence the ‘one man’ who ran the show. That was 10-ish years ago, and it is sad to see, but they are still down that path. I still drive past that church every day on my way to work, though all my friends from that time have also left, so can’t see what is inside anymore.

    So, sometimes the choice needs to be made to no longer accept that leadership, which I know many did.

    So the question is, what level of influence do you have with that person? If you do have the influence, maybe you can speak, and pray they will listen.

    On the good side, I have had a few situations where I have been uncomfortable with a decision for various reasons (again, leaving out details here), and we have had a discussion. When there is trust between a leader and those around him, you can have open, honest discussions, and ‘thrash’ things out between you, and the Word. And whether I changed or they changed, we came to an agreement in the end. But we had to have the discussion – the open and honest discussion – so that we could both see what was happening and correct it.

    Yes, I know I am vague, but I think some details are best left off the internet! Happy to expand more if you want to ask except for names :D

  6. 1-31-2012

    Drewe,

    In both of my running illustrations from the beginning of my post, the “leadership” was rejected. Of course, it didn’t mean the person was rejected, because in both cases the person also changed course.

    However, like you said, there are times when leaders will not recognize or admit their error. That is a tough situation, but we cannot continue to follow the example or the exhortation who is leading in the wrong direction.

    I think that 3 John 1:9-12 gives us an example of this… with the main point being in 3 John 1:11.

    -Alan

  7. 1-31-2012

    Just as it takes two to Tango. In this case it takes two to stumble and get off the path. Both are equally “guilty” of losing sight of the path. The one in the lead for first losing sight of it and drifting off course. The second, the follower, for taking his eye off the true course and just simply blindly following his brother, and, to some degree, endorsing and encouraging his brothers misguidance by doing so.

    It seems to me your “running” parables are just one more example of the dangers of following men, even good intentioned ones, by rote, instead of listening to the Holy Spirit, very God, who resides within us.

    You wrote “The problem is not in having leaders. Scripture speaks of leaders (some prefer the term guides, which is fine). We will have leaders, whether they are recognized as more permanent leaders or they are temporary leaders for a specific time or project. Whether a group is more or less organized, there will be leaders.

    Unfortunately the assumption of this statement is bound up in Western cultural individualism and democratic forms. The truth is the NT knows of no such thing as “a leader” or following a one man lead. There is one Head/Leader of the church, and it ain’t the pastor. It is Jesus alone and He administrates His Monarchist Theocracy by the Holy Spirit, which He has given in full measure to all, that leads/guides us into all truth, and gives us clear direction. That is why I say one brother is as “guilty/wrong/misdirected as the other.

    Jesus clear command to practically every disciple of record was “Follow me”. (Mt 9:9,16:24, 19:21, Mark 1:7, 2:4, 8:39, 10:21, Luke 5:27, 9:23, 9:59, 18:32, John 1:43, 10:27, 12:26, 21:19, 21:22) Not follow some representative of me or your brother. About as close as we get to instruction to following some earthly representative is when Paul says in 1st Corinthians 11:1 “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ”(NASB) (Be ye followers of me, even as I also [am] of Christ. -KJV). But even here Paul’s clear meaning is Follow me only to the degree that, or as, I am following Christ. And in context his next several lines go clearly to indicating that Christ is the head of every man. Paul having settled the personality and teaching issues (Paul & Apollos) back at the beginning of the letter.

    Jesus directly instructed us to not to be called leaders, nor seek to be leaders, but be servants and alluded to His preeminence as the only Leader.
    “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Mt 23:10-11 The clear objective was for us to follow His example; as He only said what He heard from the Father and did what he saw the Father doing, and could do nothing of His own initiative. Just so, His expectations was that we would only follow Him/His voice. “”My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;” John 10:27

    And while it may be argued that some NT references speak of “leaders” (Hebrews 13:27 & 24) and “elders”, and some speak of honoring them or obeying them, these references refer to the pluralities and colleges of those who are charged with protection and correction, not leading.

    So yes the problem generally is “a leader”…. and “followers of a leader” both. Truth is, no man needs to be on pedestal as a “leader”. There is one leader/head in the church, Jesus, who proved all it means to lead in the ekklesia is that you will be first to be crucified. So if you find authentic “leaders”, those worth imitating as Paul said, it will only be because they have been crucified and crushed into a place of servanthood just as Jesus was and they have cast any crown, glory or reputation at His feet, only pointing to Him as the Head.

    You also wrote in a one response “If you are never following others, then you are not following God.” That really needs to be highly qualified. What is the scriptural basis for that. I can be mentored/disciple-d, taught, equipped, encouraged, comforted, corrected,and even confronted (and more) by spirit of Christ in another brother. I am, in fact, not intended to walk out my faith alone, but to be in fellowship in His body. But I don’t think I am ever to follow men, because the say so. I am to follow or submit to them when God tells/instructs me by His Spirit to do so.

    As far as dealing with one/ones who has “led” you off the course. I won’t attempt to answer all your questions for space sake, but will give some basic first steps. First repent yourself (1) for taking your eyes off Christ Jesus yourself, and (2) not bringing them the correction they needed in getting off course sooner. Then forgive them, extend grace to them, and encourage them to get their eyes back on Him/the path so you can follow Him/it together.
    If they cannot receive correction, or are too proud to deal humbly with their error, then we are into scriptural church discipline….which again is not focused on punishment, but restoration to fellowship and place in the body of Christ

    gratefully redeemed,

    Randy

  8. 2-1-2012

    Randy,

    If we are submitting to one another, then we are following others. As I’ve written many times here, I’m not talking about blind following or authoritative leadership. Those are well outside my scope.

    But, you are correct. When we follow someone “off the path,” we are just as “guilty” as the ones leading. As in my running illustrations, we all worked together to get back on the path. We didn’t condemn the person who “messed up” and we also didn’t stand around waiting for him or her to correct the situation.

    God can and does work through all of his children, and we should expect that – even when we find ourselves “off the path”.

    -Alan

  9. 2-2-2012

    Alan

    You write…
    “If you are never following others, then you are not following God.”

    You might not realize it – BUT – That, to me, is a very hurtful, harmful, statement.
    Something I expect, and experienced, from “The Abusive Religious System.”
    I’m hoping, praying, you might want to rethink that statement.

    Hurtful – to me – Do you really want to accuse me – of NOT following God?

    Harmful – to innocent new believers – and a setup for “Spiritual Abuse.”
    Pointing new believers to look to man to lead them – and NOT to Jesus.

    Not many new believers know when someone is “leading them off the path.”
    It took me years to figure out the lies I was taught – by those leading me.

    I was also taught – you be a good follower of your leaders – now -
    And one day – people will recognize you as a leader – and follow you… :-(

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

    I NO longer desire people to follow me… And to be known as “Leader.”

    I now point folks to Jesus – Because – Jesus says He’s the “ONE Leader.”

    Jesus is the best “Leader.” Yes? :-)

    I’m Blest… I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul… Jesus…

  10. 2-2-2012

    Amos,

    It was not my intention to hurt you, and for that I sincerely apologize. You know from previous conversations that I am not talking about authoritative leadership or spiritual abuse. I’m talking about the kind of leading that Jesus commanded, that Paul demonstrated, that the author of Hebrews mentions. So, while it may not be something we want to hear, the answer is, “Yes.” If we are not following the kind of leaders that Jesus said we should follow, then we are not following Jesus. (This doesn’t mean we are not God’s children, of course.)

    -Alan

  11. 2-2-2012

    It is difficult to get past framing leadership and followership in terms of hierarchy and authority.

    When someone I come to know well has demonstrated submission to me–taking time to spend with me, seeking to help me grow and mature, listening to me think out loud and asking me questions, encouraging me, building me up, and this person is also open to receiving help and insights from me–and when they evidently strive to live with their knees bowed to Him, why wouldn’t I likewise submit to him/her? I should be glad to follow such a person and to receive such “in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation.”

    Now if such a dear friend submitted to me time and time again in these ways, loving me, sacrificing for me, for the most part remaining gentle even in the face of my pridefulness at times, might I not come to follow him and submit to him as well? You see, the son of a servant is a servant. Submission breeds submission. Respect begets respect.

    This is not a context many of us have experienced in the church. When you do, it adds 3D technicolor perspective to the typical 2D, B&W imagery of the church “as family” (along with other empty truisms like, “every member a minister”).

    While not everyone has had the experience of deep, mutual friendships and relationships in the church, most of us have experienced these extensive relationships within our marriages, with our parents, with our extended family, and with our children. None were perfect, but over-archingly, they loved us and wanted our best (as we, our children).

    Families usually can work things out and do. I’ve learned, for example, that in all of those relationships, I don’t need to win an argument (and it isn’t helpful to turn an issue into one). Instead, I just need to make my concerns and differences of view known. Usually, this means picking the right time. And, I need to test my view with how they see things, so I need to listen as well as talk. Often enough, I’m convinced to go along. The amount of defusing from feeling heard, even if others still disagree, is substantial for all concerned. Often enough, with time and without further nagging and harassment, they move in the direction I was advocating.

    In none of those relationships, except with very small children, are the relationships unidirectional in leadership/followership. Some areas of leadership are pretty well defined, “I’ll trust you in these areas, you’ll trust me in these, and we’ll work together on the rest.” None of those defined areas are absolute–all remain accountable to a degree, and in all areas of authority you need to hear out objections and concerns and preferences. In the end, you decide and we’ll follow. But for most of the things we do, anyone may lead at any given time.

    Big missteps happen. If you are going to disagree with someone and block their actions, you really need to be sure if you play that card that it really needs that strong a reaction and that it really is worth undermining that person’s confidence. It may be that they need to be challenged or admonished. Decisions and directions need to be changed. In real life, this doesn’t happen often. Usually, you just have to let go of your own preferences, and accept the fact that in most things there are many ways to skin a cat and they all work fine. Respect their authority and you build their confidence, even if you think you have a significantly better way.

    In the family, four keys are that 1) we spend a lot of time together; 2) our continuing relationships are important to us; 3) we love and know we are loved; and 4) in a family, we are absolutely accepted. EVERYONE else is, comparatively, an outsider.

    Without these in the church, you just have an organization with a positional leader or leaders. Until you choose to accept and submit to everyone in love, and the seed of a family is planted.

  12. 2-2-2012

    I have lost track of the number of people who, despite my vociferous protestations to the contrary, have insisted that I was a pastor, if not their pastor, a pastor nevertheless, and they would declare the fact “prophetically.” What I most object to regarding that appellation, and I presume that most of your readership shares, or agrees, is all that term has come to mean in the modern church world. But when you look at the word itself, it denotes one who would lead, as a shepherd would lead his sheep, somewhere. For us, on this spiritual journey, that somewhere is a someone, Jesus, the Great Shepherd. So I am left to conclude, or in my case, accept, that I am a pastor insofaras, I lead people to Jesus or into His presence, and to that degree only.

    Likewise, my, or any authority that I would exercise, (and I do not presume to have any!) only extends to the limits of my knowledge of the will of God for any, or at any, given point in time and no further. On all other matters or circumstances, to coin a phrase, I speak, not the Lord!

  13. 2-2-2012

    I love the family analogy that Art uses. We tend to forget that we are a family, whether we like it or not, and we do have need one of another! That does not mean that we have to like and hang out with one another though!

  14. 2-2-2012

    Chris, In even a modestly normal family, we don’t feel forced to like or hang out with one another. We find comfort and safety there, and are drawn together. Some families are, however, toxic.

  15. 2-3-2012

    Amen Amos, I’m with you. Religious tradition dies hard. :)

  16. 2-3-2012

    Hutch

    Good to hear from you. Yes – Religious tradition dies hard.

    In my experience with “Leaders” and being in “Leadership” shows me…
    No matter how loving, eventually…
    No matter how humble, eventually…
    No matter how much of a servant, eventually…

    Leadership = exercise authority = lord it over = abuse = always

  17. 2-3-2012

    Randy

    Much agreement when you write…
    “The second, the follower, for taking his eye off the true course and just simply blindly following his brother, and, to some degree, endorsing and encouraging his brothers misguidance by doing so.”

    I followed Mere Fallible Humans and paid the price.
    Now I trust the one who lives within me and follow Him.

  18. 2-3-2012

    Chris

    Much agreement when you write…
    “For us, on this spiritual journey, that somewhere is a someone, Jesus, the Great Shepherd. So I am left to conclude, or in my case, accept, that I am a pastor insofaras, I lead people to Jesus or into His presence, and to that degree only.”

    Yes – The only “leadership” for me now is to “Lead” folks to the “ONE Leader”

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  19. 2-3-2012

    Alan

    I do NOT believe your desire was to be abusive. BUT your statement is.
    That’s the language that “Abusive Leadership” uses to control and manipulate.

    You write…
    “I am not talking about authoritative leadership”

    I think Art said it well… “It is difficult to get past framing leadership and
    followership in terms of hierarchy and authority.”

    IMO – When anyone says – “Leadership” folks know exactly what that means.
    **Authority.**

    ALL “Disciples of Christ” called themselves “Servants.” Eliminating the need
    to constantly try to re-define “Leadership.”

    Servanthood equals – “Low Place.”
    Leadership equals – “High Place.”

    Why isn’t “Servant” good enough? We are to “Serve” one another. Yes?

  20. 2-3-2012

    Alan

    You write..
    “If we are not following the kind of leaders that Jesus said we should follow,
    then we are not following Jesus.”

    Nope – IMO – Still and abusive statement. Still a mis-leading statement.

    Because – I checked the Gospels – and the only “Leader” Jesus said to “Follow”
    was “Himself.” Except once – where they were to follow a pitcher of water. :-)

    Mt 4:19 …Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
    Mt 8:19 … I will Follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
    Mt 8:22 …Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
    Mt 9:9 … Follow me. And he arose, and FOLLOWED him.
    Mt 16:24 …let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and Follow me.
    Mt 19:21 …and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and Follow me.
    Mr 2:14 …Levi… Follow me. And he arose and Followed him.
    Mr 5:37 he suffered no man to Follow him, save Peter, and James, and John…
    Mr 6:1 …came into his own country; and his disciples Follow him.
    Mr 8:34 …Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself…and Follow me.
    Mr 10:21 …One thing thou lackest…take up the cross, and Follow me.
    Mr 14:13 …there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: Follow him.
    Lu 5:27 … Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: said unto him, Follow me.
    Lu 9:23 And he said to them “ALL” If any man will COME AFTER ME,
    ……let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and Follow me.
    Lu 9:57 …Lord, I will Follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
    Lu 9:59 And he said unto another, Follow me…
    Lu 9:61 …Lord, I will Follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell…
    Lu 18:22 …distribute unto the poor… and come, Follow me.
    Lu 22:10 …bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house…
    Joh 1:43 …Jesus… findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
    Joh 10:4 …and the sheep Follow him: for they know his voice.
    Joh 10:5 And a stranger will they not Follow, but will flee from him…
    Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they Follow me:
    Joh 12:26 If any man serve me, let him Follow me…
    Joh 13:36 …Whither I go, thou canst not Follow me now…
    Joh 13:37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I Follow thee now?…
    Joh 21:19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God.
    …….And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
    Joh 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come,
    ……what is that to thee? Follow thou me.

    Alan – I can find nothing about believers following Mere Fallible Humans.
    I can find – “Serve” one another.
    BUT – I can NOT find – “Lead” one another. – “Follow” one another.

    Of course I could have missed it. Maybe you can point out the verses where
    “Jesus” mentions “the kind of leaders that Jesus said we should follow.” ???

  21. 2-3-2012

    Art,

    Another great comment. I especially appreciated this:

    “In the family, four keys are that 1) we spend a lot of time together; 2) our continuing relationships are important to us; 3) we love and know we are loved; and 4) in a family, we are absolutely accepted. EVERYONE else is, comparatively, an outsider.

    Without these in the church, you just have an organization with a positional leader or leaders. Until you choose to accept and submit to everyone in love, and the seed of a family is planted.”

    Chris,

    I would further say that any authority you may have is limited not only by your knowledge of the will of God, but also by your conduct in living according to that knowledge.

    Hutch,

    Amen. But, thank God that it does die.

    Amos,

    Why do you think Luke (when quoting Jesus), Paul, the author of Hebrews (Paul?), and others in the New Testament continued to use the word “lead” and “leader” in a positive manner to refer to other Christians? Were they wrong to not stick with the term “servant”?

    You said, “The only ‘leadership’ for me now is to ‘Lead’ folks to the ‘ONE Leader’.” I agree completely with this statement. 100%… no qualifications.

    Now, I’m supposing that you are not perfect in your attempt to lead others to the perfect leader. That means that you will occasionally mislead them. What do you do then? What should they do in this case? That was the point of this post.

    -Alan

  22. 2-3-2012

    Alan

    And I find a lot of verses saying – NOT to “Trust” in Mere Fallible Humans.

    Jer 17:5
    Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man,
    and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

    Ps 118:8-9
    It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
    It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

    Ps 146:3
    Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

    Isa 30:1
    Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD,
    that take counsel, but not of me;

    Isa 31:1
    Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help;
    and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many;
    and in horsemen, because they are very strong;
    **but they look NOT unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!

    Matthew 24:4 …Take heed that no man deceive you.
    Mark 13:5 … Take heed lest any man deceive you:
    Luke 21:8 …Take heed that ye be not deceived:
    Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words…
    2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means…
    1 John 3:7 Little children, Let no man deceive you …

    Colossians 2:4
    And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.

    ***Think I’ll stick to Jesus as the “ONE Leader” I can “Trust.”

    Proverbs 3:5-7
    “Trust” in the LORD with all thine heart;
    and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
    Be not wise in thine own eyes…

    Job 13:15
    Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:

    John 10:16
    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall **hear my voice;**
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.

    There Shall Be One Fold, One Shepherd, One Voice, One Leader.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  23. 2-3-2012

    Alan

    Luke and Paul didn’t use the word “Leader” – That’s modern translantion.

    They used – hegeomai and proistemi – which is a different flavor then – Authority.

    Hegeomai – Is also, To go before, to consider, deem, account, think.
    And is translated three times in the KJV as – esteem.

    Php 2:3
    Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;
    but in **lowliness of mind** let each *esteem* other better than themselves.

    I never found anyone – who thought they were a leader
    who had *lowliness of mind* and *esteemed* others better than themselves.

    Oh, they might have said it – BUT – When push came to shove –
    I was pushed and shoved right out of the congregation. ;-)

    When you challenge someones – Power – Profit – Prestige – things get ugly fast
    Christian-dumb is often a bloody sport.

    Proistemi – is also, to be a protector or guardian, to give aid, to care for, give attention to.

    That’s certainly a different flavor then what “Leader” means today.
    *** The person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.
    *** A person followed by others.

    Command – *** Give an authoritative order.

    See – Leader today leads us back to **Authority.** Can’t really get away from it.

    And – Once again – You wrote…
    ““If we are not following the kind of leaders that Jesus said we should follow,
    then we are not following Jesus.”

    Can you show – or describe – from the Bible…

    “the kind of leaders that **Jesus** said we should follow”

  24. 2-3-2012

    Amos,

    Actually, both Greek terms “hegeomai” and “proistemi” had wide ranges of meanings, just like the term “leader” today. They could both be used to indicate authoritative leadership and they could be used to indicate non-authoritative leadership, just like the term leader today.

    In fact, the PRIMARY definition for “proistemi” is “to the head of, rule, direct.” Likewise, “hegeomai” can mean to rule. Of course, as you already know, I do not think this is the way that the authors of Scripture use those terms. And, like you already know, I’m not using the terms “lead,” “leadership,” or “leader” to indicate someone who is ruling or exercising authority. Instead, I’m using “lead” and the associated terms in the way that I think the authors of Scripture used “proistemi” and “hegeomai,” and this is a valid use of the English term “lead.”

    For example, the first definition at definition.com for the term “lead” is the following: “to go before or with to show the way; conduct or escort.”

    By the way, based on your logic of not using the term “leader”, then you should not use the term “servant” either, since it is also a translation and not a perfect translation.

    You asked, “Can you show – or describe – from the Bible “the kind of leaders that **Jesus** said we should follow”.” Yes, Luke 22:26 – “Luke 22:26 ather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.” Here, Jesus tells us the kind of people who should be “leaders”, which also indicates the kind of people we should “follow.”

    Again, you said, “The only ‘leadership’ for me now is to ‘Lead’ folks to the ‘ONE Leader’.” I agree completely with this statement. 100%… no qualifications.

    Now, I’m supposing that you are not perfect in your attempt to lead others to the perfect leader. That means that you will occasionally mislead them. What do you do then? What should they do in this case? That was the point of this post.

    -Alan

  25. 2-3-2012

    Amos,

    By the way, the KJV also translates “hegeomai” as “rule” several times. The KJV translates the word “proistemi” as “rule” also. Words do not have a single meaning. They have ranges of meanings. That’s true for Greek terms and English terms.

    -Alan

  26. 2-3-2012

    Alan

    If Jesus is telling us who we are to recognize as “The Leaders” in Luke 22:26?

    Then Jesus is also telling us who we are to recognize as “The Greatest” in Luke 22:26?

    Are you known as – or desire to be known as – The Greatest? ;-)

    Best wishes from

    Amos The Greatest.

  27. 2-3-2012

    Amos,

    Yes, Jesus is telling us to recognize that those who serve others are greater in the kingdom than those who do not serve others. This has nothing to do with being recognized or what we desire to be known as. If I desire to be known as “The Greatest” or the “leader” then I’m clearly not serving others. I think you’re the only person who has brought up recognizing people as anything or calling people anything.

    Again, you said earlier, “The only ‘leadership’ for me now is to ‘Lead’ folks to the ‘ONE Leader’.” I agree completely with this statement. 100%… no qualifications.

    Now, I’m supposing that you are not perfect in your attempt to lead others to the perfect leader. That means that you will occasionally mislead them. What do you do then? What should they do in this case? That was the point of this post.

    -Alan

  28. 2-3-2012

    Alan

    Here is Ross Rhodes on “Leadership.” I like this because he agrees with me. ;-)

    http://thejesusvirus.org/2011/04/18/when-words-get-ruined/

    This understanding of what leadership is all about is baked into our bones. When we use the word, we have an extremely difficult time getting to what Jesus was actually saying in Luke 22: 24-27. Jesus isn’t saying, “Be a new type of leader, one who expresses his or her leadership (positional power and authority) by serving for the good of others.” That’s being a benefactor; something Jesus tells us not to do in Luke 22:25. This is a concept commonly called “servant leadership.” Isn’t it amazing that we end up doing exactly what Jesus told us not to do…all in the name of Jesus. Servant leadership is an oxymoron.

    **Jesus is actually saying don’t lead.** That’s the way the Gentile power elite act. Do something different instead; serve others from a position of weakness; like a child or servant. For more on this read Leadership???

    **I no longer use the word leadership.** I just tell the people I’m discipling, **don’t lead,** love and serve others. We’re all the same in God’s eyes. Once I use the word leadership with them, we’ll spend the rest of the day trying to figure out what’s good leadership and bad leadership. **In my opinion, there’s no such thing as good leadership.** Jesus told us to serve. I’ll stick with that. **Leadership is non-Christian activity.** I do this for ease of communication. I know that others won’t agree, and that’s fine, as long as we both know what we’re talking about.

    Amos

  29. 2-3-2012

    Amos,

    Actually, as with all other forms of communication, our understanding of what it means to lead is taught and learned.

    As I’ve already pointed out, there are ranges of meanings in the term “lead” just as there were ranges of meanings in the Greek terms “hegeomai” and “proistemi.” I don’t use the term “lead” in the sense of exercising authority or ruling.

    It would be much more beneficial to our discussions if we did not have to cover that same point time after time. If you choose to not use the term “lead” that’s fine. But, that doesn’t mean that everyone uses the term “lead” the way you are saying is “baked into our bones.” For instance, like I’ve said many times, that’s not the way that I use the term “lead” and I point that out time and time again.

    Again, you said earlier, “The only ‘leadership’ for me now is to ‘Lead’ folks to the ‘ONE Leader’.” I agree completely with this statement. 100%… no qualifications.

    Now, I’m supposing that you are not perfect in your attempt to lead others to the perfect leader. That means that you will occasionally mislead them. What do you do then? What should they do in this case? That was the point of this post.

    -Alan

  30. 3-10-2013

    By this topic, Alan has brought me back to my memories of my activities in the scout movement. We often organized games and campings in the country side and always at the border of a bush. We had some technical training in reading a map and using the compass before the expedition day. On the day we received some instructions of what to achieve as a team then off we go on the adventure. The team leader was always the most mature and technically knowledgeable member of the team, but his role was only an adviser so the team members can learn be trained and get their experience in the outing. It was my unforgettable youth time with a lot of fun. The team leader would voluntarily let us make mistakes so we can learn the lessons and make better judgment in the following outings.
    Back to the matter of faith and the business of the church, didn’t Jesus choose the twelve himself with full knowledge of their skills, abilities and characters, did he? Among them there were a betrayer, a denier, and a couple who loved to be in high position. Later, while the church were living in fear of a great persecutor, again Jesus had recruited Saul, the one who was after the church members for killing. These are typical examples for us to learn about leaders/elders of Christian churches. We should not expect to have perfect leaders/elders at any time. We should always be ready to accept their failures as our owns. We should be more compassion towards one another including the leaders/elders as we would like God to be compassionate to ourselves.
    In regards of leadership, Jesus has consigned his disciples to go out and proclaim the Good News. He didn’t establish them as rulers of the church and they are to follow his example (Mar 10:45). Isn’t it this kind of leadership similar to the one that I have experienced in my scout’s? Leaders/elders of the church have the role of spiritual advisers/speakers/preachers rather than rulers. The church members must take their road map (the Bible) and their compass (Christ) and go on their journey of faith individually and together to get their own experience and to grow, and to produce the fruit of life. (Being member of the church, everyone of us is also a disciple to go into the world and be the witness of the risen Christ with our own life to whoever we meet on our way.)
    The membership in the church is unlike the membership in a sport club, or a company, or a political party. It is like member of a family where everyone are bound together in one body, the Body of Christ. In that body, there are healthy members and also sick members, and everyone are bound to help one another to grow. The rejection of a sick member must be very rare to never. Imagine an ulcer on our foot or hand, should the foot or hand be amputated because of the ulcer? Certainly not, we will try all kind of remedies for the cure first. The amputation is only the last resort to prevent death.
    In today’s society, we are experiencing many broken families among Christians. Isn’t it because we are lack of respect, compassion and love towards one another. The family is the smallest unit of Christian church. In a family we have leaders/elders and members. What should one do when a leader/elder, or a member of that unit of the church fails or go astray from faith? By answering to that question we may also be able to answer the question that Alan has asked.
    In my opinion, the only question should be asked is: Are we all using the “map” and the “compass” correctly for our journey of faith?
    (Please forgive me if my English is not written correctly)

  31. 3-11-2013

    Duc Minh Bin,

    Your English is great. Thank you for the comment!

    -Alan