“For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly.” [John 7:4] Leaders who hide their purpose, plans, or true objectives behind a curtain, whether literal or figurative, practice “Wizard of Oz” leadership. If you recall, this isn’t leadership, but an amplified voice and fake image disguising a little man with no power at all except trickery.
The speaker in this verse was a brother of Jesus who did not believe He was the Christ. To paraphrase Jesus’ response, He wasn’t ready to be known openly for His “time had not yet come.”
Worthy Leadership Defined
Worthy leadership is modeled in scripture by the God of the Bible. God is who He says He is, can do what He says He can do – and always delivers on His promises. That is also my definition of faith and is also true of worthy teachers, parents, horse trainers, and ministers. Unfortunately it does not describe most politicians and many who preach the Gospel.
Worldy leaders are worse than those who resemble the diminutive fictional wizard. Worldy “leaders” work in secret, not to lead well, but to deceive.
Does your church leadership conduct business behind closed doors? And what was that bit about transparency that was all the rage in Washington, DC just a dozen or so months ago? The truth is, there is precious little worthy leadership in the world. False teachers abound and politicians seem to have lost the ability to work in the clear light of day. Scripture reminds us that one who lights a lamp intended to illuminate a worthy path, or protect those around from bumping into things, will not hide it under a basket. Lamps, light itself, is meant to be set up for all to see.
Discerning Worthy Leadership from Worldly Leadership
There are two tests when evaluating leadership. One is the fruit.
Is the outcome sweet or sour? Good intentions without edible fruit are the stuff of the wizards of the world. No worthy leader will hold up any failed attempt and expect a pass. Failure is failure – the fruit stinks. Worthy leaders will regroup, recharge, and try again.
Jesus explains the second test in John 7:17-18. This test is one of spiritual discernment made possible by relationship with Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. Our relationship with God allows us to know if the doctrine, or rhetoric, being presented is from God or the speakers’ own authority.
Read more on evaluating action by the fruit produced: