In recent years Junior has been increasingly sought for leadership development. While many of these are ministerial or church-related, he has also helped communicators, sports coaches, developing business leaders, even teachers and doctoral candidates, in some of the most nuanced and often overlooked ways. Similarly, a growing number of leaders have expressed interest in a regular commentary or mini-devotional from Junior on leadership. In response, the bit below is for you. (All content here and sitewide is the intellectual and copyright property of JDM. All rights reserved.)
When doing multiperson leadership equipping, Junior loves to use small "Mount of Olives" home meetings. These relaxed, candid environments compel leaders to ask questions, share freely, dialogue in-depth, nourish interleader intimacy, and practice their gifted craft in a nurturant, but guided, setting. Individual follow-up spins off naturally and supernaturally from these unusually productive meetings.
As a leader, you are the genes of your group or organization. Your unique helix of personality, instincts, abilities, experience, and maturity level will determine the visible nature and quality of your group. Not only does this impose a stern mandate of personal growth and leadership development, it cautions us to wisely discern the "epigenetics" of leadership also: who we agree to lead, under what conditions, and for how long.
On Prophesying vs Paddling:
The following passage is a foundational, and richly illustrative, scripture crucial to growth and accuracy in prophetic ministry. Isaiah 33:21 (NKJV): ...the majestic LORD will be for us a place of broad rivers and streams, in which no galley with oars will sail, nor majestic ships pass by.
Do you perceive the illustration's meaning? Friends, especially prophesiers, this is important cud to chew. Isaiah says no galley or ship with oars can ride the River of God. That means no "paddling"--no effort, no striving, no perspiration--only floating and flowing with the River.
As a prophet, Isaiah knows this mechanism well. He knows he cannot try to prophesy. Authentic prophesying is not something you try to do, there is no try about it. It is a river you float and flow with effortlessly. This is pinpoint identical to what Peter said about prophesying in 2Peter 1:21 (AMP): For no prophecy ever originated because some man willed it...but men spoke from God who were borne along (moved and impelled) by the Holy Spirit.
Peter stated plainly what Isaiah illustrated. The will and effort and "try" of man is completely non-existent in the genesis or initiation of authentic prophecy. All he/she can do is maintain daily, airtight, cheek to cheek intimacy with the Lord and wait for the prophetic River to overflow. The human will enters the mechanism only when he must speak or write, of his own freewill obedience, to communicate the prophetic message to the target recipient.
One of several ways we can discern and judge New Testament prophecy is by tuning in to the prophesier's level of "paddling". The less they are struggling, striving, and straining, and the more they are floating and flowing peacefully, the more of a positive indication it is. When novice or amateur prophesiers call me and ask me to test a word they have allegedly received for an individual or group, I listen for "paddling" as they share. Some of their words prove to be a mixture, some pure emotion or imagination or ego, some 100% bullseye.
You can even discern and judge your own revelatory life in this way. Be brutally honest and face-in-the-ground humble. Is this alleged revelation the true prophetic River swelling, or, am I paddling those oars because I need to prophesy to meet a selfish need in myself? Isaiah 33:21 is so remarkably helpful. No oars are allowed or legitimate in the River. Only vessels that float and flow peacefully.
Isaiah makes a parallel statement earlier in 32:17, again emphasizing the peace, composure, and calm confidence of genuine spiritual activity in the Lord. Isaiah 32:17 (NIV): The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
If you have a prophetic gift and call, the River will rise and overflow as He wills as you simply obsess over seeking and obeying Him daily. The moment you start "trying" and paddling to prophesy you rape your prophetic calling, aggressively forcing it to give before time what should be gotten effortlessly, organically, and spontaneously through a cultivated love relationship. The greatest secret to ace prophetic ministry is by becoming the River's most impassioned lover and closest confidant. Oh yes, then and only then will that River continuously swell and overflow in you, without you trying or paddling, but as a God-given reward and love gift for keeping your priorities right: your First Love, the Lord Jesus.