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 The Human Cathexis for a King:
The word cathexis refers to an emotional and mental fixation on an idea, person, or object. Humans have a cathexis, a visceral and recurring craving, for a king. Modern sophisticated minds, however, will use lexica far more beautified or sublimated than "king". The deeper cathexis is the same, though: humans crave a reality definer, a decisive actor, an obvious leader, a protector, a creator and maintainer of group identity. That de facto king might be a strong spouse (like Jezebel to Ahab), family ruler (like the pater familias), an influential leader in a certain field (like Stephen Hawking or a politician or a closely followed Christian leader), even a friend or associate or ward with kingly qualities (like Joseph or Absalom). However a person vocabs those they look up to and follow, God's Word says the deeper force at work is the instinct and cathexis for a king.
The Word describes this concept with an illustrative roundabout. It says, often, humans are sheep without a shepherd, wandering and wanting exactly that (Num 27:17, 1Ki 22:17, 2Chr 18:16, Ps 49:14, Isa 13:14, Eze 34:5,6, Zec 10:2, Mt 9:36, Mk 6:34). Notice, then, how the Lord uses the term shepherd to illustrate king (2Sam 5:2, Isa 44:28, Jer 23:4,5, Eze 37:24). They are very different jobs on paper, but function on an identical emotional-social algorithm. A verse that captures this algorithm is Psalm 49:13,14 (AMP): This is the fate of those who are foolishly confident, and of those after them who approve [and are influenced by] their words...Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol...Death will be their shepherd...
See the social dynamic (and shepherdly language) in this verse: a kingish actor and communicator listened to and followed by sheep looking for a shepherd/king. Because said person is not healthy and godly these sheep will be shepherded, poetically speaking, by Sheol and Death. We could call this person a shepherd, king, consul, caesar, president, pastor, husband, wife, friend, coworker, lover, prophet, teacher, professor, expert, coach, mentor, influencer, or whatever else, but the simple algorithm at work is a God-given hunger for a king. Those who do not understand this hunger and rightly respond to it end up letting Sheol and Death shepherd them.
If we follow this theological roundabout full circle we arrive at the end-truth that our Maker has designed this hunger in every person. Our God-given desire for a king, for a shepherd, is a desire for Jesus, the King of kings, the Shepherd King. When that cathexis is not satisfied daily and ongoingly through a direct experience with Him, we try to fill it with the next best thing: a human (with at least some) kingly qualities. Hence the perpetual human tragedy of listening to people we shouldn't, getting close to people we shouldn't, falling in love with people we shouldn't, giving money to people we shouldn't, following leaders we shouldn't. We are not in a state of mind or state of heart to set up kings in our life or group or organization unless we are first enjoying a daily, ongoing experience with the kingship of Jesus. When we are not living and moving and having our being in Him Hosea 8:4 happens (NIV): They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval. With their silver and gold they make idols for themselves to their own destruction.