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Are You Leading from the ‘Right-side’ Up? By Scott Rodin

The more I read, study and write about the steward leader, the more often I find myself scratching my head and saying, “really?” This is pretty radical stuff.

And as such, the more we seek to embrace the call to be steward leaders fully, the more we will be considered rather strange people.  That’s because, to the culture around us, our values appear to be all screwed up.  Live as a faithful steward leader; most people won’t get you, including some in your ministry or church.

The reason is that the values of the kingdom of God define the ‘right-side up’ life in an upside-down world.  This is no subtle shift; it is a revolution in leadership. Yet, despite our genuine desire to be steward leaders, we often hold onto the old worldly, upside-down values and miss out on all God has for us. Here are four examples of the difference between these two kingdoms’ ways of thinking and leading.

Which one most typifies your leadership?

Kingdom of the WORLD thinking

  • You work to earn the money you need to afford the things that bring you fulfillment and joy, such as vacations, leisure activities, and eventually retirement, when you have achieved the right to quit working and enjoy life.
  • You enter into the ‘battles’ in your work and life so that once you’ve won and succeeded, you can enjoy the abundant life God promised you.
  • If God would change the circumstances around you that are painful, frustrating, and complex, you would be happy, which is what God desires for you.
  • You either move forward, or you die. So it would be best to put in the hard work and long hours to grow. From growth comes success, and from success comes happiness.

Kingdom of GOD thinking.

  • Your work is the source of our greatest fulfillment and joy.  God created you to work in partnership with Him regardless of your vocation.  All work is sacred when it is done for His glory; therefore, it is fulfilling, joyful, and an act of pure worship.
  • The abundant life is found in the battle.  When you are most fully engaged in the struggle for truth, righteousness, justice, and faith, you are most fully alive in Christ.  Success is not winning battles but engaging in them more fully and faithfully.
  • If God would change me so that in every painful, frustrating, and challenging experience, I could see His hand at work and be used as an agent of peace, reconciliation, and truth, I would be content, which God desires.
  • We are either obedient, or all we do is futile. So, we abide in Christ to know his will.  From knowledge comes faithfulness, and from faithfulness comes contentment and joy.

He who finds his life will lose it. 

He who loses his life for my sake will find it.

~Matthew 10:39


Dr. Scott Rodin has been in not-for-profit leadership and consulting for twenty-five years. He has served as counsel to over 100 organizations across the country and in Canada and Great Britain including colleges, seminaries, schools, churches, para-church ministries and other not-for-profit organizations. Visit his blog at Kingdom Life Publishing.


What is Christian Leadership Alliance?

Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.

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