Leadership – The Antagonists of Leadership

Posted on February 3, 2012




(Part Five of Six)


Most leaders down through history have had specific people who have been their antagonists. All leaders down through history have had specific attitudes that people have held that have been antagonistic. Moses had his Korah and Abiram. David had his Absolom. Jesus had his Judas. Paul had his Demas. These are all people and individuals who, on some level, had a problem with authority. While we discussed the fact that many times a leader has to fight feelings of pride in his own heart, the same is true for those who are to be submitting to him. Most of the trouble leaders have is from people who have become disenfranchised with him and the direction he is leading and decide to strike out on their own.

III John 1:9 – I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. The root problem, as it says in this verse, is pride. The phrase, ‘loveth to have the preeminence’ means; to desire to be first. They want and desire to be at the forefront, those that have that desire will never submit to leaders like they ought to. They are more concerned with furthering their own agenda than they are with seeking the common good…as are their leaders.

We see in the next verse how this spirit manifests itself. III John 1:10 – Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. The person that loves the preeminence does two things. They seek to subvert followers by their deed and words, more specifically their malicious words. Leadership must deal with this; real leadership will deal with this.

II Timothy 4:10 – For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. The second problem, and one that in some ways is harder to cope with, is that of people quitting. Leadership has the responsibility to keep things moving in the right direction, being shorthanded is not conducive to doing so. It would not be unheard of for people to quit simply too put the leader in a bind. That is, more or less, what the idea is behind a ‘workers strike.’ The employees are no longer happy with the leadership, for whatever reason, and so there is a concerted and unified effort to get the leaders attention. However right or wrong that course of action may be is up for debate. What is not in question, is whether or not it takes place, or something like it. Leadership needs to be prepared to deal with it. Another possibility that must be looked at is the attitude in which those subservient to the leader are conducting themselves. A true, spiritual leader wants submission from the heart, not simply from the mouth and mind.

Colossians 3:22 – Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God. Leaders have a grave responsibility here, to capture the hearts of those whom you have been placed over. If you don’t have their heart, you won’t have their actions for very long. If they are serving with you and under you simply because you are the ‘boss’ one day they will lose what fear they have of you, and then struggle will ensue. If a leader has the heart of his people, he can rest assured, that although problems will most definitely come, his people will want to do what is right.

Jude 1:4 – For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. One of the more obvious problems, but no less dangerous, is those that would come in and openly oppose a leader, and what he stands for. They do not start out in loud opposition, but rather, they come in quietly, and then after they make friends, begin, as well, to make problems. Once again, I must say, have your people’s heart.