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Unity of Leadership

By Dale Linton

1Corinthians 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?

The planter of this vineyard represents someone in leadership. If this leader doesn’t eat the fruit thereof…,they are spending unwisely by purchasing food the business is already supplying. However, that’s not the most foolish outcome of not eating the fruit.What is being sacrificed by selling all the fruit? What’s in the fruit that is vital to the operation……seeds! A vineyard with no seeds will cease to grow. Rather, it will shrink because trees die off and cease to produce the amount of fruit they once did.

The relationship between the vineyard, or fruit trees, and the planter is what is being promoted in this verse. This relational examination is symbolic of a profitable relationship between leadership and the membership they serve. These types of “leaders” represent planters in that they provide jobs that establish livelihoods. In this sense the leader is “feeding” these individuals, similar to a planter providing soil for the fruit tree. But where leadership must be engaged, for the purpose of operational growth, is through the “eating from” the membership they serve.

Leaders eat from the organizations membership most effectively by tapping its creativity. The BEST growth of any organization is when the creation of that growth occurs from within its membership. In other words, leaders must learn to recognize the creative potential in the membership and the receptacles with where this creativity may be plugged in. The more a leader feeds on the fruit of a vineyard through the recognition and the promotion of the individual in this manner, the more successful the organization becomes on a whole.

The leader finds levels of success by providing a creative outlet for those he serves. In doing so, this leader is being fed through the organizational growth that is expected from proper management. It can be stated this way; an effective leader feeds himself and the organization, by symbolically planting the seeds that come from the fruit of the membership. This fruit is symbolically represented in the creative nature that all human beings possess and yearn to exercise. But what of the leaders necessity for a creative outlet; where is that symbolically provided in the 1st Corinthian model?

Leadership that is serving their membership in the recognition and the provision of creative gratification will find their reward hidden in the phrase…feeding a flock, and eating the milk of the flock. First, all the principles that have been discussed of the vineyard planter are applicable to the leader who feeds a flock. However, there is a creative element of unity hidden in feeding a flock and eating the milk of the flock. This creative element of unity is seen in this question; why does God ask the question in a manner that suggest that milk would be eaten? We drink milk don’t we? The answer is no, fore milk becomes other products such as cheese or butter that are eaten. Milk is, metaphorically, a product of servant leadership, that is returning to serve the server. The message is; when leadership utilizes the product of the flock to enhance organizational health, then leaders receive their own creative ignition. The leader, in effect , is rewarded by receiving a creative transformation through investing in the organization. So again, the seeds the leader has planted from the memberships creativity are returning to ignite his creativity. The creative growth of leadership becomes unified with those of whom they serve. This is a collective growth which establishes and promotes like minded corporate entities. The milk of the flock, recreates ,becoming a reward to the leader who rewards.

Now the question, “Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges?”, may be seen through the prism of continuity with the rest of the verse. One who would go to war and take on the expenses of their duty symbolizes an individual whose attitude is that of doing everything by themselves. This type of leader hasn’t any genuine unity in mind rather they see those for which they lead as their subjects. This leadership owns the responsibility of the groups success and it’s members are but to be positioned as pawns on a corporate chess board. The view from atop this corporate ladder sees rotten fruit and spoiled milk.

I have a desire to see the body of Christ edified. Within the broad spectrum of edification I feel there exists a great need and opportunity for spiritual education at foundational levels. Please contact me about speaking at your church. Dale Linton 410-378-5035 or dale@agapesolutions.org

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERMAKE A WEBSITE

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