Leadership’s Prime Directive

Neil Girrard

Upon hearing that all were going to Jesus instead of to himself, John the Baptist said to his disciples,

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”

This is the “prime directive” of all who would take up leadership among the people of Christ. Let us consider a modern-day parable.

A man undertakes to walk a 1,500 mile journey. After 800 miles, he grows weary and tired because the altitude and the climate had changed and he can no longer continue walking. Another man graciously invites the traveler into his home and allows him to stop and rest there.

If the host were like many modern “Christian” “ministers” and “pastors,” the host would attempt to manipulate the traveler into staying on at the host’s house to do chores and menial labor that reinforces the host’s position as lord over the house. And the host would believe himself to be doing the traveler a favor by taking 700 miles off of the traveler’s journey.

But it was God who had told the man to make the journey. God is waiting for the traveler in that city toward which he journeys. The host, because “I” must increase, is robbing the traveler of personally meeting God.

Thus if the host is in tune with the purpose of God in his own life, he will seek to aid the traveler on his way, granting him as much time as he needs to rest and recover, making certain that traveler is refreshed and restocked for the remainder of his journey. This host knows that his house and his desires are not the traveler’s destination and purpose.

Meeting God, hearing God, obeying God - these are the goals of true discipleship in Christ. It is an abomination for “leaders” to draw followers after themselves just so they can feel like they are significant in the eyes of others. Those “pastors” who think they’re “feeding the flock” with their “sermons” and “Bible studies” even as they use these things to bring followers (and money) into their own “house” and deceive these into laboring to support that house (the “church”) are deceived as to which kingdom they really serve. All they have done is divert those travelers from their destination - God - and turned them aside to follow after their “host.”

The traveler must hear God for him or herself and must finish the journey in the manner which God has so instructed them. Passively listening at the feet of some man will never establish anyone in obedience to God any more than staying at the host’s house will complete the 1,500 mile journey. Every traveler has his own road to walk and his own cross to carry and it is the responsibility of every true leader among the people of Christ to help every traveler he meets to better connect with Christ and God.

Only those who have found the one true God and who are mature in their life with Him are entitled to be considered true leaders among the people of Christ. Such as these know that they merely go before or have gone further and that they are in no way standing over their brothers and sisters. And they especially are not those who say they are not lords over their brothers and sisters even as they stand and act as lords over them! The true leaders know, like John the Baptist, that “I must decrease but He must increase.” Any “leadership” that does not adhere carefully to this prime directive is only a deception, another form of some man’s “church,” and is to be avoided at all costs.

Let he who has ears hear.

John 3:30
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