The fourth temptation we face as leaders is kingdom building. Loving one master and despising the other calls us to be one-kingdom Christians. Christ’s call on our life is uncompromising and unequivocal. We are to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him. There is place for only one allegiance, one Lord, one master. The abundant Christian life is only found in the total surrender of all we have and all we are to the one Kingdom of God. For Christian leaders, Christ calls us to the total surrender of control and renunciation of the desire for the power that comes from success that is measured in any terms other than the building of the kingdom of God.
This is an amazingly difficult surrender! Our tendency, given our sinful nature, is to build alongside the kingdom of God our own little earthly kingdom where we get to play the lord. It may consist of our time, some or all of our possessions, our relationships and our attitudes. Anything that has not been completely submitted and surrendered to Christ, any control that has not been thoroughly turned over to him, and any power that still wins our allegiance will be the stuff of our earthly kingdom.
If we are honest with ourselves we will acknowledge that we are all kingdom builders. In our personal life we struggle with a desire to keep control over those parts of our lives that seem just too important to trust fully to God. As Christian leaders we struggle to satisfy employees, board members, donors, stakeholders, shareholders and business partners while at the same time relinquishing control and placing all of our business or organization into the one kingdom of Christ. This struggle is seen in its greatest intensity in the way we deal with money in our institutions.
As Christian leaders we must understand the struggle as a battle for lordship and we must help our colleagues to see the same. When put in terms of lordship we frame the battle for what it truly is. Your decisions regarding money and the finances of your business or ministry will speak volumes of who is truly lord of your life. For the steward leader, the freedom we know in Christ empowers us to step off the throne of our own kingdoms and yield everything to Him. That is what he asks of us, perhaps in the end it is all he asks of us; that we have one lord, one kingdom, one allegiance. Can you say this about your leadership? About your heart?