The Value Intimacy Brings to Leadership
Strasbourg Cathedral, France
Leaders need to lead with confidence in the identity and vision God instilled within them. If they try to head a group by “just being their friend,” they’ll prove unreliable in their leadership responsibility to move the group into the vision.
By using the term, “intimacy in leadership,” we’re not talking about that kind of weak leadership.
Jesus showed deep intimacy in leadership with His disciples, and Jesus was in no way a weak leader.
What, then, constitutes healthy intimacy in leadership?
While Jesus humbled Himself as a servant to wash His disciples feet, He still retained His delegated position as their “Teacher and Lord” (John 13:13). Jesus lead the discussion according to the purpose and vision from His Father. He didn’t acquiesce to Peter’s resistance (see John 13). Jesus maintained His leadership authority while at the same time participated in intimate fellowship with His disciples.
Remember the several “layers” of intimacy Jesus developed among His disciples. On the outer layer He had “the 70″ whom He sent out (Luke 10:1), then in the middle He called “the 12″ (Matt 10:1-4), and He especially related to the “inner 3″ – Peter, James and John (Mark 5:37).
Many speculate on why Jesus focused on Peter, James and John. I believe these three sought the heart of Jesus more than the others, so Jesus met them in their desire to know Him. In the same way, we can mentor those we lead with intimacy according to their desire to relate to the God-given heart and purpose of our group.
We can follow Jesus’ example, to first of all maintain deep intimacy with Father God, and from that relationship, extend the power of intimacy–oneness of heart and vision–to those we lead.
What values does intimacy bring to leadership?
- Embracing a “fatherly” or “motherly” anointing of care toward those we lead can help them develop a greater ability to trust and relate in healthy ways–to both Father God and other people. Greater sensitivity to God and each other leads to increased security and significance in the group.
- Sharing ourselves, our heart, vision, and friendship with others in a transparent way fosters trust that leads to loyal alliance in difficult times.
- Two-way, transparent and vulnerable relationship releases value and confidence toward creative innovation and group synergy.
In their MP3 Intimacy, Keith Yoder and Don Riker outline Patrick Morley’s five stages for developing intimacy: appointment, relationship, trust, obedience, and service. They also challenge us with scriptural examples of intimacy, and the necessity of intimacy for healthy life and leadership. Click here to download your copy.
– Genesis 5:23-24; Exodus 32-34; I Samuel 16:7; Psalm 131; John 5:19-23; John 13; I John 5:20
- Patricia Tillman, derived from Intimacy, MP3 by Keith Yoder and Don Riker from Legacy Leadership Series