Jason Thornton taught a powerful class Sunday about submission. I hadn't given it much thought in awhile. However, it is surely a special zone for any leader.
When I moved to Memorial in 1977 the burning number one issue was authority. The question was, Who had the most? The elders or the preacher? There had been a struggle with the previous preacher over this and when I rode into town the message was clear, Don't even think it!
What the elders and the church didn't realize is I wouldn't....ever. I've never wanted nor needed authority. I need encouragement, but I don't need authority. What would I do with more power? If power is perfected in weakness (and it is...II Cor. 12:9), then I conclusively have more power than I could ever exert! I'm not bragging and that's my point. As leaders we don't strut our way into power. Power is all over us if we'll present our weaknesses as our true force. Paul said in his text that Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses.
A spiritual leader will only find his bragging rights in his failures and fiascoes and catastrophes and collapses. That really doesn't lend itself to much swagger.....do you think?
Submission is not a threat to the leader; it's the secret to success. Such is the art of God's brush upon true leadership. His palette is laden with our frustration, exasperation, disappointment, and breakdown. It is not our heroics which impacts the kingdom style. Show us your flimsy and fragile masses and you'll find leaders brimming with energy.
The only bragging we get to do is the same as Paul's; it's only in our weaknesses!