'Dear Leader' or Great Leader?
As North Korean totalitarian leader, Kim Jong Il, passed away over the weekend, the North Korean people have been in my prayers. He was known affectionately by his people as the “Dear Leader.”
Watching the video announcement of his death is a reminder of the cult of personality he so strongly continued in the North Korean state after his father’s death in 1994. As leaders, it’s vital to remember your popularity (or lack thereof) is no direct indicator of the success of your ministry. As much as you may want to be their “dear leader,” their growth is more important.
Kim Jong Il passed away much loved from the people he greatly neglected. While he enjoyed every imaginable luxury, the average North Korean faced extreme poverty and hunger. It’s a tough question to ask oneself as a spiritual leader, but are you more concerned about being a “dear leader” to your congregation’s affection or a “great leader” willing to do what’s right for their spiritual growth?