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Starting on Empty

9 years ago written by

llm-nov14_discipleshipA leader with the mind of Christ is both full and empty. Fullness is represented by the expectation that a vibrant witness of personal regeneration along with evidence of growth in grace, fruits of the Spirit, and the gift of love are prerequisites for Christ-centered leadership.

But then fullness gives ways to emptiness when we encounter Philippians 2:5 (KJV): “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Immediately, we get the shocking truth that He who was equal with God voluntarily made Himself empty to serve and lead us (Philippians 2:6–8). This is not the message we want to hear.

To be a Christian leader, we are told to get a bold vision, fire it with passion, find our strengths, delegate our weaknesses, and take charge. The mind of Christ asks the opposite. If we are to lead with the mind of Christ, all of our claims for character and competence, calling and consecration must be emptied of self-interest. As Michael Cosby reminds in “The Spirituality of the Beatitudes”: “The kingdom of God can only be received with open hands.”

E. Stanley Jones answered the call of Christ by preparing a detailed list of his plans to do the will of God. In prayer, he presented his plan and asked God’s blessing on it. The Master answered tenderly, “Son, that’s not what I want.” Handing back a blank sheet, God said, “Just sign your name at the bottom. I’ll fill in the rest.”

To lead with the mind of Christ, we too must begin by giving God a blank sheet with our signature at the bottom and letting Him fill in the rest.

This is a condensed excerpt of “Christ-Centered Leadership: The Incarnational Difference” by David L. McKenna.


[1] Where am I tempted to self-interest in my gifts for leadership?

[2] What must I give up to do the full will of God?

Article Categories:
[Discipleship] · Departments · God · LLM November 2014 · Magazine

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