Beating the Tantalizing Trap of Fivefold Leadership

Avoid the trap many leaders find tantalizing. (Pixabay)

As I teach and coach both ministry and marketplace leaders on fivefold leadership, I see amazing levels of excitement as leaders discover their fivefold gifts. As their revelation five-fold leadership grows, so does their tendency to fall into a tantalizing trap.

The Trap

So what exactly is the "tantalizing trap" of fivefold leadership?

It is simply to focus more on my gifts—my anointing—my office than upon the reasons Jesus gave these gifts in the first place. How often do you see men and women more enamored of their gifts, their either real or self-declared "office," than they are of the results these gifts are intended to produce in the body?

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Ego. Self-gratification. Spiritual superiority. These and more are the tantalizing traps too many today carelessly fall into that end in dysfunction, alienation and ultimately victory for the enemy.

To help you avoid this tantalizing trap, here is a quick expository on the three core goals of five-fold leadership with an exhortation to focus on its one mega-goal.

3 Goals of Fivefold Leadership

 He gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, for the equipping of the saints, for the work of service, and for the building up of the body of Christ, until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, into a complete man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so we may no longer be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men, by craftiness with deceitful scheming. But, speaking the truth in love, we may grow up in all things into Him, who is the head, Christ Himself, from whom the whole body is joined together and connected by every joint and ligament, as every part effectively does its work and grows, building itself up in love (Eph. 4:11-16).

Whenever God repeats something in the Word, it is important. Clearly within these six verses are three distinct goals mentioned (in different ways) at least two times each. 

Goal #1: Edify/edifying/fullness = building up unto completion

Goal #2: Unity/joined together = agreement, oneness

Goal #3: Growth = progressive development, increase

Notice that the Lord does not stop with these three measurements but continues toward the one mega-goal.

The Mega-Goal of Fivefold Leadership

The mega-goal of fivefold leadership is not about your leadership anointing or even the edification, unity and growth of your teams. It is ultimately about love (good will, benevolence, affection).

The only way to achieve the mega-goal of love is to take your focus off measuring the depth of your unique leadership gifts and instead, focus your attention on measuring the edification, unity and growth of your teams in love.

Jesus' final exam is based upon on how well you release His leadership gifts toward love. Unless you move beyond the gifts themselves into a focus on His outcome of the gifts, you totally miss His purpose for the gifts.

Therefore, to avoid falling into the tantalizing trap of fivefold leadership, measure all your leadership efforts in love.

Dr. Jim Harris is the author of 14 award-winning business books including Our Unfair Advantage: Unleash the Power of the Holy Spirit in Your Business. Download his FREE tool, 55 Critical Resources for Believers in Business. Connect with Dr. Jim on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.

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Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.


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