Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to this earth to save all people. Jesus is the ultimate genius who began the greatest movement in the history of the planet. His approach to motivating people was not top down, forced leadership, but the counter-intuitive approach of discipling—which is vastly different than the “kings of the gentiles, who lord it over people” (Luke 22:25), or for that matter, the religious leaders of the Old Covenant, the leaders of the Pharisees. His approach was to gently encourage and empower.

Twenty plus centuries later, behavioral scientists have proven what Christians should have known all along: intrinsic motivation produces more results than bossing people around. Daniel Pink, in his book Drive builds on extensive social and psychological research conducted by Edward Deci (Intrinsic Motivation, 1975) and Richard Ryan. Pink summarizes, “Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.”

Under the leadership of Jesus, Christians, by faith, have accomplished amazing efforts that changed the world: hospitals, orphanages, missionary activities, the fall of decivilized empires, the rise of education, the development of universities—the list is endless. Christians are liberated by faith under Christ who is the head of the community called the church. They experience the Lordship of Jesus not by top-down leadership that pushes them to act, but through servant, bottom-up discipleship that invites them, like Jesus: “Come, follow Me” (Matthew 4:19). This raises a serious question: how could so many churches, so many leaders in congregations get this wrong? So many churches are operated backwards to Kingdom approaches. No wonder so many congregations are ineffective for the Great Commission. And, to make matters worse, when they want to be more “faithful” and “productive” they jump to top-down superimposing methods that split their churches!

Source: Kent Hunter; Daniel Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. New York: Riverhead Books, 2009, page 71.

Excerpted from: Why Churches Struggle with Change – September/October 2014 Church Doctor Report

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