This month I am addressing the attributes of a covenant leadership team. Last week I presented the importance for leaders to make seeking the Father’s will a priority in their responsibility as leaders. I also presented the need for leaders to give their lives to love God and the local body within their care for the sake of the hope and destiny of the coming generations. Covenant leaders lead to fulfill the Father’s will and for the posterity of the generations to come as a result of their covenant role as leaders.
I believe that God is calling for covenant leadership team leadership in the body of Christ. We cannot confuse covenant leadership with contract leadership. What is the difference between a contract team and a covenant team?
In a contract two or more parties commit their individual selves for the fulfillment of the contract agreement. A contract is a formal or legally binding agreement holding all parties to the terms of the agreement. Certain conditions are spelled out in a contract that guarantee certain benefits to the parties of the contract as long as the participating parties meet the conditions of the contract. The word “contract” also means to shrink or make something smaller. It can mean, “to become tighter or draw together”. I believe that a contract is meant to restrain the participants of its agreement from straying outside of the boundaries of the conditions of the contract. In this sense a contract can serve to limit the parties within the agreement.
A biblical covenant is a compact made by passing between two pieces of flesh. Covenant members of the Church pass through the broken pieces of the Body of Christ to select the Father, feed on Him, and render all to Him. Whereas a contract can be made between two or more parties for a common purpose a covenant is made by two or more parties to become a common entity. A contract allows different parties to befit from one another, while remaining separate in their identity. To be in covenant is to be one in the same body, house, or habitation. Members of the covenant maintain their uniqueness, but their diversity contributes to their unity as one team. A covenant team makes their lives broken for one another that they might pass between the pieces to enter into one place of habitation. Members of a covenant team select one another, feed on one another, and give their lives to one another for the sake one another and the whole. A marriage is an example of the highest form of human covenant whereas the members become one flesh. This is not a contract for common benefits, but an all in giving of each member’s life for the life of the other.
A covenant is a commitment to fully identify with one another. It involves a sharing all possessions in the covenant. A covenant leadership team shares in the responsibility of stewardship and testimony of their God-given sphere of influence. The covenant testimony of a marriage is the sharing of one another’s life for the glory of the other and their life together as one. There is a loyalty to one another no matter what the cost might be. Although a covenant leadership team is not as high of covenant as marriage, it can be a level of covenant.
I believe that God’s wants leadership in the Church to be a covenant team. I have four apostolic friends in this world that I have entered into a covenant relationship with. We have not joined in our relationship to get anything from one another, but we are bound to give our lives to one another for God’s glory in our covenant connection in life.
A covenantal team will fully identify with one another as members constituting one team. They will commit to be themselves for the sake of their corporate selves. They are committed to the team no matter the cost (never violating higher covenants). No human covenant can violate an individual’s covenant with God. No leadership covenant can violate the covenant of marriage. There are different levels of covenant, but covenants recognize that they are there to contribute to the cause and testimony of the other members of the covenant. The members of the covenant team relate to God through one another in regards to the team.
I believe that the covenant glue of a leadership team is friendship (John 15:12-17). True friendship is not based upon a command to be friends, but the covenant of friendship is based upon a continually renewed revelation of God’s love for each member of the team and each member’s love for one another. If the glue of a leadership team is true God-given friendship, true God-given friendship will be found in the atmosphere and substance of those they lead. A friend is one who embraces a common objective and aim, one with whom life is shared (The Passionate Church – Breen & Kallestad). They love to hang out together, share the workload, and linger after teaching sessions to discuss what they have heard and what it means (The Passionate Church – Breen & Kallestad). Friends can disagree with one another, but are never disagreeable in their attitudes towards one another. I believe that friendship is essential to a covenant leadership team.
The Basis of Covenant For a Leadership Team:
- We are here to give glory to the Father’s name (Mal. 2:2).
- We will speak only life giving words of love for God and love for people, not critical ones (Mal. 2:7).
- We will point all to the Father (Mal. 2:10).
- We will not make personal agendas or personal ministry our mistress (Mal 2:11).
- We will live and lead for the future of the Body, for its children, and its children’s children (Mal 2:13-15).
- We will love God and have a covenantal and relational commitment to His Bride (Mal. 2:14,15).
- We know that to live for ourselves is to live for divorce (Mal 2:16) – we will live for the family of God.
- We know that to live for our own vindication or justification is to live for divorce (Mal. 2:17) – we will live for the future of this house and God’s kingdom.
We verbally agree to these statements together, but rely upon God’s grace to be found faithful in them. We agree with and to these statements as a leadership team, but admit without God’s grace we cannot be empowered to fulfill them. We invoke God’s manifest presence with and upon our lives together to be the leaders He has called us to be and know that only By God’s grace we can. We agree to walk in relationship with one another and hope to see God’s life make these things true with us as a team. We hope that God will make these things to be a covenant reality in our lives and ask that He will.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson