Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Dangers of Man-Centered Leadership

Here are some thoughts that we have been discussing on the subject of man-centered, versus God-centered organizations. This is something we are wanting to apply to ourselves as a family...we have observed in ourselves as parents some of these tendencies to be man-centered. Usually there is a slow, and almost imperceptible slide toward being man-centered. The change can be gradual.
  • A man-centered group has an obvious human leader, who is lifted up--- while a God-centered group says, "Whoever is great among you is servant of all". 

  • A man centered organization exists to promote itself and loyalty to its leader--while a God centered one exists for the good of all, and to promote Christ. 

  • In a man-centered group everyone channels love in one direction...up toward the human leader. It is a one-way street. In a God centered group there is no lowest, nor highest individual, but "Let everyone please his neighbor for the good of edification". 

  • Along with leadership in a man-centered group, there is a hierarchy among members. Favorites of the leader get special privileges, and can even get away with sin. Those out of his favor are punished. In a God centered group, the rule is love, and the enemy is sin, no matter in whose life that sin is discovered. 

  • Independent thinking is a threat in a man-centered group. But in a God centered one, pleasing the Lord Jesus is the only thing that matters. People are encouraged to be Bereans and hold the leaders accountable. 

  • For a man-centered group, enjoyment in life is squelched. Happiness is only sought for a few privileged ones. But in a God centered group, joy is a fruit of the Spirit, and everyone is out to encourage one another and build each other up. 
  • *Criticism reigns in a man centered organization or family...and arbitrary standards which fit the leaders' preferences are the rule of measure. But in a God centered group, the sound of laughter, and happy singing creates an uplifting atmosphere. 
  • People are fearful of having a differing opinion in a man centered group. Anyone persisting in holding their own opinion is ostracized. But in a God centered group, peace reigns, even when opinions differ. 

  • In a man centered setting, the organization and the leader are defended at all costs. People outside the group are considered lost if they disagree. In a God-centered view, the goal, even in differences, is always restoration of fellowship. The response to attack is long suffering and gentleness. 

  • If we are man-centered, goodness is a mask we wear. If we are God-centered, goodness comes from our dependence on the Holy Spirit, and is the fruit of His work in our lives. 

  • For man-centered thinking, faith rests in the strength of our associations; in the organization and its leader. People feel secure in that, and shaken whenever those are challenged. But if we are God centered, faith is not dependent upon any organization or human leader, but looks directly to Christ, knowing that man is prone to error. 

  • The leadership in a man centered setting is not accountable to anyone outside of a few "yes men", but if Christ is our Head, the leadership does not point to themselves nor insist upon their own will, but instead they point to Christ and seek His will. 
  • The leaders are proud and never admit to being wrong in a man centered group; but in a God-centered group (or home) the leaders are humble and lead by example and servanthood. 

  • There is a different standard which is lower for leaders or parents, and those in their favor where man is exalted. The standard is higher for followers, and highest for troublemakers and dissidents. Instead of high standards being a voluntary privilege, they become a punishment! In a God-centered environment, leaders set the highest standards for themselves, require of themselves more self-control, harder work, more discipline/greater effort. They are merciful to others.

We were challenged by these things; as we set a Christlike example? Are we leading our children properly? We have seen this in churches, schools, and families, and want to challenge ourselves in this area, wherever we find ourselves above another...that we not be self-serving, in the Name of Christ!

The preceding article was written by Mrs Tressa Lancaster and is being posted at her request. This godly mother of no less than 10 kids is an example to many people, believers and unbelievers alike

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