We are addicted to leadership. Everything in the Church seems to be geared to developing good leaders. Seminar after seminar, conferences, books, internet teaching all centered around leadership. We have developed quite the industry on just this one subject.
We seem to have this compulsion that when we find an intelligent or gifted person we fling the leadership mantle around them, whether they are gifted leaders or not. We don't look for the anointing. We don't examine God's calling. We don't see if God's hand is on that person. As long as they are educated, intelligent, gifted and good looking, they fit the bill. We will even overlook the last two as long as the first two are in place. Sometimes, if we are desperate enough, it is sufficient that they are educated.
What happened to the training of the warriors? You know, those guys who are not anointed for leadership but are anointed with God's gifts as workers in the Kingdom. Those guys who take the anointed vision of God, laid on the hearts of the leaders, and put it into action. Those guys who are anointed with energy, enthusiasm, intelligence, strength, determination, and a servant's heart.
We all consider King David to have been a great leader and we often lift up leaders with the same hope that they possess a David's heart, but what would David have been without his mighty men? There is a reason God took time to make sure that all their names were recorded for us. These are the men who responded to David's love for God, his vision and his compassion for the people of the nation. They chose exile with him. They chose to face death with him. They chose to defend him. They chose to give up the right over themselves to obey him as their chosen leader.
We all consider Peter, John, James, Paul as great leaders of the Church but Stephen was not any less anointed by the Spirit. He was a leader but not of the variety that we think about. His was a supporting role. He took the pressure off of the Apostles by looking after Church affairs so they could preach and teach. He was still full of the Holy Spirit, powerful, standing out in a crowd, but he was a warrior, carrying out the vision of the leaders. He was a mighty man.
I don't think it's leaders we are lacking in the Church but rather the warriors to follow the leaders. We are missing the Jonathans, Stephens, Timothys. All leaders in and of themselves but also mighty men who stood with and fought for the anointed leaders of the day. I mention Jonathan here because, even though he was the crown prince according to the flesh, he knew he was not God's appointed leader. In fact, he told God's appointed leader (David) that he would gladly serve him as one of his mighty men. That takes more guts than what a lot of people realize.
This is a call to my fellow mighty men. Let us not be tempted to take on a mantle that does not belong to us. We know, we can see for ourselves, where God's anointing lay. Let us pledge ourselves to these imperfect, chosen, anointed leaders of our day. Let us not try to out due them but encourage them by standing with them in the fight. It is not easy bearing the mantle of leadership but neither is it easy to resist the flesh and take our appointed position in support of God's anointed. Know the ground you have been given, and stand.