The new leader is strategic but not political. We often hear the criticism: the church is too political. What do you think is meant by that? For example, if we advocate for the poor, as Jesus did, we will find ourselves in competition for power and leadership around this issue. When do we cross the fine line between strategy and politics? One Webster definition describes politics as activities characterized by ‘artful and often dishonest practices’. Hmm... sound like anybody you know?
Most likely the criticism is rooted in our lobbying or bargaining over positions, leadership or candidates for the sake of winning or maintaining control by particular leaders, AND when the connection between the issue cannot be easily connected to the core of the gospel. When we strategize to win souls for Christ we are engaged in discipleship; when we strategize to maintain power and leadership (even if we claim to do so in the name of Christ) we are engaged in politicizing the gospel. One thing is clear, the new leader must open him/herself to examination on this, and stay clear of being ‘too artful’.
(coming next: Authentic Leaders)