Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christ-Centered Leadership

Truly Christ-Centered Leader Development

By Malcolm Webber, Ph.D. 

God’s ultimate purpose in all things revolves around His Son:

having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him. (Eph. 1:9-10, NKJV)

The Son of God, Himself, is the final and complete revelation of God (Heb. 1:1-2). He fully reveals the Father (John 1:18; 16:15; 17:10, 26; Col. 1:19). Everything is “under His feet” (1 Cor. 15:27). All things were created through Him and for Him, and all things are held together by Him (Col. 1:16-17). In everything, He has the preeminence (Col. 1:18).

Accordingly, the biblical model of leader development revolves specifically around the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Healthy leader development must be entirely Christ-centered, Christ-focused, Christ-absorbed. The Son of God is all in all!

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (Col. 2:9-10, NKJV)

In previous Letters, we have examined both the goal and the process of Christian leader development. In everything, leader development must revolve around the Son of God.

First, the goal of leader development must be Jesus Christ. All five of the necessary elements of healthy leadership are connected directly to Him:

  • Christ (John 15:5; Gal. 2:20; Col. 2:6). Apart from union with Christ, we will accomplish nothing of any eternal value. “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
  • Community (Eph. 1:23; 2:21-22; 3:16-19; 4:11-16; 5:31-32). Spiritual maturity is a corporate experience. First, Christ builds community; the leader’s union with Christ will be expressed in the leader living together with others in the Community in self-giving love, in true servanthood. Second, community builds Christ; it is in nurturing and accountable relationships with others that the leader will fully experience the indwelling life of Christ.
  • Character (Phil. 1:11; Is. 64:6). Human righteousness, apart from His indwelling life, is “filthy rags” in God’s eyes. True righteousness “comes through Jesus Christ.”
  • Calling (1 Cor. 3:11-13; Gal. 1:1). Neither man nor ministry should be first; in all things, Christ must have the preeminence. Today, so much is done in the church to serve either man’s need or his ambition; but God is only glorified through His own vision, He is only pleased with what He initiated.
  • Competencies (2 Cor. 3:5-6; Phil. 3:4-11; 4:13; Col. 1:10-12; 1 Pet. 4:11; Zech. 4:6). All of man’s greatest accomplishments are “rubbish” compared to that which comes from Jesus’ indwelling life.

We could build our emerging leaders to shine brilliantly in every human capacity, but if we have neglected to bring them into deep union with Christ, from Whom the whole person is properly built, they will ultimately experience failure in both life and ministry.

Second, the process of leader development must be Jesus Christ. He is the Source of power in all four of the Dynamics of Transformation:

  • Spiritual (2 Cor. 3:18). There was a veil in our hearts of separation between us and God. In Christ, God has removed this veil. Now, inwardly, we can see Him, we can hear Him, we can touch Him. As we look inwardly at Him we are transformed into His likeness, by His Spirit, from one realm of glory to another.
  • Relational (Eph. 4:16). Corporately, we are united with the eternal self-giving fellowship of the triune Godhead. The Father loves the Son who loves the Spirit who loves the Father and the Son – through us! It is “from Him [that] the whole body… grows and builds itself up in love.”
  • Experiential (2 Cor. 1:8-9; 12:7-10). Challenges and sufferings take us beyond our own strength and we are forced (often for the first time) to look away from ourselves and to truly rely, with deep surrender, on Him; that is how we are changed.
  • Instructional (2 Tim. 3:16-17). “All Scripture is God-breathed” – this is not only a proof text for the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture; it is a revelation of specifically how the Word changes us. Our interaction with the Word of God must go beyond human intellectualism. It is through the breath of His Spirit upon His Word that we are transformed.

Our training programs might harness the latest and greatest of human wisdom and methods, but if we do not bring our emerging leaders into face-to-face encounters with the Son of God (1 John 1:1-3) – through spiritual, relational, experiential and instructional dynamics – their lives will not be transformed.

Thus, leader development must revolve around Him in everything.

It is an extraordinary and utterly disastrous error to ignore, neglect or assume the intentional centrality of the Son of God in practical Christian leader development in both its goal and process. Jesus, Himself, isthe Goal and He is the Process.

Today, in many nations, Christian leaders are returning to their first love – to Him. Burned out and frustrated, they are recognizing that they have been absorbed in His work more than in His Person, and that they are much better equipped in knowledge about Him than in living union with Him.

Of all of the many necessary paradigm shifts that Christian leader development is currently undergoing,this is the deepest, the most profound, the most vital.

Let us return to the centrality and the preeminence of the Person of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, in Christian leader development. He, Himself, is our Process and our Goal; He, Himself, is our Journey and our Destination.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen. (Rom. 11:36)


You may distribute the Letter to anyone you wish, in any form you wish, as long as the Letter is distributed in its entirety (including entire footer) and at no charge.

All content © 1998-2009, Malcolm Webber, Ph.D., Strategic Global Assistance, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kingdom Teaching

 Kingdom and Non Kingdom Believers
By Ron McGatlin

Not everyone will enter the kingdom of God / kingdom of heaven life now available on earth. Many Christian believers are missing the mark of advancing into the spiritual reality of kingdom of God now available and offered to whosoever will. This is NOT talking about going to heaven when we die. This is NOT talking about what is traditionally called being born again. Believers may be on their way to heaven when they die, but the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus brought is much more about releasing heaven’s ways on earth now. This is about being translated from the kingdoms of this world into the kingdom of our Lord. 

Col 1:13: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
Mat 7:21-23: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”
Christ Jesus is now dwelling with and within all who are willing to lose this life and be translated into the kingdom of God, New Jerusalem life. There is a leaving of one kingdom and moving into another with Him in the Spirit. Entering and abiding in the kingdom of heaven lifestyle is a life of pure righteousness without defilement – a life of perfect peace in continuing rest - a life of clean pure joy – a life of light and brightness – a life of comfort in all situations – a life detached from the woes of pain and sorrow of earthly circumstances and situations – a life of mature faith – a life of rejoicing and thanksgiving in Christ in all things (Mat 5:11-12).
1 Pet 1:6-8: In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory in the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
This is truly a life in which all things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).
This is a life lived as spirit beings in Spirit God who is above and beyond the defiled fallen life handed down through our forefathers from the first Adam. It is the life Father God created for Adam and all mankind to experience – the life that is forfeited in disobedience and redeemable at the cross. This life is only possible today in the Spirit of Christ dwelling within those who will lose their lives that He may live His life within them (Gal 2:20). It is Christ in you the hope of glory in this life now.
Col 1:27-29: To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
Many, if not most, Christians have never experienced the kingdom of God life. Religion has taught us that in this life we cannot experience the reality of the pure, holy life of Christ Jesus. Many have been made to believe that in this life they cannot be free from the “old man” inherited from the first Adam and therefore cannot become a perfect man in Christ Jesus.
We may or may not know that there is a zero tolerance for defilement in the New Jerusalem life. Nothing, absolutely not one microbe of defilement will ever be allowed to enter this pure holy kingdom life (Rev 21:27). We may also rightly believe that the blood of Christ Jesus has paid the penalty for all our sin. However, many do not know that Christ Jesus dwelling in us by the Spirit can completely cleanse our lives now in this world and transfer us into His kingdom life now.
For me, one of the saddest deceptions to affect the potential of kingdom living is the teaching that we need not live holy lives. Good people believe that the sin and defilements that they allow are not a problem. Christians persuaded by this fallacious teaching remain mostly powerless and ineffective in bringing change to a needy world. For the most part their lives are usually consumed in trying to meet their own needs and to make it through the trials of this life. In this season when the way to kingdom life is opened, Jesus must turn away many from the New Jerusalem life, because He does not abide with them in their defiled lives.
Another very sad error that works to prevent this situation from being rectified is a lack of respect for the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Almighty God is devalued to a third-rate segmented part of God’s family by this erroneous emphasis.

The Awesome Reality of the Holy Spirit

There is no kingdom life – no New Jerusalem life to experience apart from the SPIRIT of GOD. You could spend all the rest of your life teaching and being taught about Jesus and the Father and never have one moment of real experience of God in your life without the work of the Spirit. The kingdom is in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17).
For those without the fullness of the Holy Spirit, the only reasonable mental conclusion they can come to in explaining their powerless and troubled lives is the same one reached centuries ago by religious theologians, which is, there is no kingdom of God available on earth now.
One of the most urgent efforts of the devil is to convince God’s people that the Spirit of Christ that can now abide in His temple (Body) on earth is not really Christ Jesus returned to earth (1 Cor 3:16) (2 Cor 6:16). Therefore, they conclude that only after Christ bodily returns will the real Christ Jesus be here to establish His kingdom. To keep up this charade, the devil must create a separation between believers and the work of the Holy Spirit. This has been done effectively by blinding the minds of Christians with false teachings regarding the Spirit and the kingdom.
The enemy has fostered many false teachings about the kingdom and the Holy Spirit. False kingdom teachings are tools of the enemy for preventing people from entering the real kingdom life now.
False kingdom teachings may use a lot of good kingdom terms and contain a lot of truth. However, it will add in a dose of error with the truth. When the error is discovered it is then ammunition for the heresy hunters and religionist to use to discredit the whole truth of the gospel of the kingdom. The enemy then comes up with vile accusations against something they call “kingdom now theology.” Many people are turned back by these false teachings to their lukewarm religious systems and miss the word of the kingdom. The kingdom of God is not a theology. It is a present spiritual reality in the Holy Spirit.
False teachings about kingdom are often spawned from the very popular widespread traditional views and doctrines perpetrated centuries ago that exclude the reality of the kingdom of God affecting this life now. They create a diversionary focus on man as the focus of the gospel and making it to heaven after death as the goal. Planet Earth is taught as evil and to be destroyed by God. Everything of the kingdom and victory is put off to the future either in heaven after we die or after the bodily return of Christ Jesus. Believing these teachings can leave the devil room to continue his dirty work even though he is defeated.
In this season, the revelation of the pure, holy kingdom of God life of Christ in us by the Holy Spirit is again being widely proclaimed for the first time since the first century when Christ and His first-century apostles preached and demonstrated in power the gospel of the kingdom of God. I personally believe there has always been a hidden remnant of kingdom truth since Jesus proclaimed it. However, only now has it been widely heralded. Yes, the revelation of the kingdom exposes much of the traditional but erroneous teachings that developed in the church systems around the third century.
The plain facts are that many believers still hold tightly to, and reverence as major doctrines of the church, much of the non-kingdom fallacious teachings that are being exposed as error by the Spirit of God uncovering and making clear the word of the kingdom. The revelation light of the gospel of the kingdom is being planted in pure-hearted, humble believers who are becoming revolutionaries bringing the return to the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. Father, Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven(Mat 6:10).

There is now available free of charge, a wealth of anointed material for preparation and assistance in moving from religion to intimate personal relationship with God in the real kingdom of heaven. The “Kingdom Growth Guides” in PDF and other books, articles, and audio/video are available for free download 
Keep on pursuing love. It never fails
and His kingdom never ends.,

Ron McGatlin