(The current global crisis in leadership: how to restore a true and healthy image of leadership.)
Nice meditation, I came across today, on kingship at a time of a clear leadership crisis globally, and certainly in America, as our elections approach. To think about what true leadership might look like, feels healthy. I appreciated coming across this article by an older friend Pieter Boss- thinker, city theologian, and social spiritual strategist (Serving the Nations, is he and his wife’s ministry; “Theology of the Nations” is his series of books) from the Netherlands. His thoughts are always refreshing, especially on cities and nations. Here, he is looking at models for true leadership or kingship. Good to remember the basics, in these days of confusion around true leadership.
I don’t usually re-publish other’s articles here, but this one felt timely in light of our current shakings in the area of leadership. We need clear images of what a leader actually is meant to be, look like, or echo. Even in our families, if we have no image of parenthood, how can we parent. If we have no image and relationship with The King, how can we ourselves be little kings down here? Or have wisdom in electing new leaders, who are properly reflecting His Image of leadership.
King and Kingship
Auteur: PieterDatum: 25-12-2013
“In 2013 our nation got a new king and celebrated 200 years of kingship. When Jesus was born three kings attended and (because?) he was announced to be the Christ and futureking, even King of kings. Two months ago I addressed, in Pretoria, a conference of African tribal kings. That makes five times “king” in a short time.
While in our nation there are discussions on the relevance and on the “purely ceremonial” function of kingship, not so in Jesus’ time or in our time in Africa.
What is king and kingship? The core of it is: On God’s behalf a person rules a nation.
This sounds alien and dangerous, at least anti-democratic, in modern ears. Could such a concept be God’s idea? Yes. Even from the beginning and into the Realm of Peace.
Moses taught us that Man was created in the image of God, and that Man was destined to rule the earth. This truth, though, was known before Moses. Egyptian and other ancient kings claimed they were the image of god, and therefore entitled to rule. In other words: the divine truth was known, but the ruler applied it just to himself, lifting himself above his nation and his subjects. That is the core corruption of this divine truth.
In an earlier blog, “The Glory of Hierarchy”, I argue that hierarchy is not lick-up-and-kick-down, but worship-up-and-care-down. French Kings showed the utter corruption of kingship: “The state, that is me”, and tyrants enrich themselves and murder opponents and subjects alike. But what does the modern king Willem Alexander of The Netherlands say? “I am your king, to serve the nation”.
True hierarchy, godly rule, is caring for the subjects, caring and nothing but caring, representing God to the subjects, on God’s behalf ruling a nation.
Kingship is at a large scale what Fatherhood is at a small scale. See my previous blogs on fatherhood. Happily there are fathers who intuitively show an image of God to their children. God wants his children and his nations to be ruled by someone showing God to them.
Christ is a political term; it means: the elect, like in ‘president-elect’ between the election and the inauguration. Jesus was born the Christ, the coming king, to show, after six (?) millennia of one-world-government-efforts, that true kingship, in righteousness and with cultural diversity, is possible, even for a good thousand years.”
We must contextualize the current elections in an image of The King and what true leadership should look like. Of course, we feel the gap now between His Kingship and what we see on earth, but we can also partly fill it! We try to elect echoes of that Voice! Echoes of The King. These are just mini-kings, but still we all need to see clear images of what The King looks like. Even in our homes.
All of us, in some sense, are just echoes. But we need to be echoing the right Voice. And we need to choose leaders who are echoing that Voice. In our leadership, that Voice and model, is Jesus-the Servant King who sacrifices is Life for all. So we need to be moving in His Way of leading others, of being little kings, even if, for just one day our little time on earth.
At times of global elections, it’s never about just who to vote for, it is rather about do we have a clear image and relationship with The Highest Ruler and model for all leadership, and can we make our current choices in the Light of that Image. This is one of the roles of imagination in making wise choices. To what degree is this person echoing a true image of leadership?