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Posted: 01/19/2012 at 12:45am
Dr. Myles Munroe: The Kingdom of God and Leadership
With a strong commitment to transforming followers into leaders, Dr. Munroe is addressing one of the greatest challenges in the Body of Christ. His latest book release “The Spirit of Leadership” is consistent with his mission to help believers discover their purpose, potential and leadership.
The Voice magazine sat down with Dr. Munroe to talk about the Kingdom of God, how Jesus is raising up leaders in developing nations to spread the Gospel, and strategies for breaking down barriers within the Body of Christ.
THE VOICE: The Spirit of God is speaking to His leaders about the Kingdom in this time and season. What is God saying to you about the restoration of the Kingdom of God?
DR. MUNROE: We’re finally getting to the original message, the original assignment, and the original goal of God. It has always been the restoration of His Kingdom on earth. It is the only message Jesus preached that we can verify. God is restoring the original message of the Bible. This is very significant. It’s important to note that Jesus placed the end of the age on the condition that the message of the Kingdom is preached into all the world.
I went to college and have a degree in theology, but there was not one class on the Kingdom. I read the four Gospels and it was the only thing that Jesus preached. That was a very strange contradiction to me. The Spirit of God has been speaking about the Kingdom for years, but we are finally listening and that’s exciting to me. We will see the true impact of the Kingdom if we keep preaching it.
THE VOICE: Many believe the Church is going to enter into a time of greater manifestations of the power of God in the years to come. What will it take to see the return of greater miracles, signs and wonders at the hands of the believers?
DR. MUNROE: Kingdom teaching. What we call signs and wonders and miracles are simply the evidence of the presence of another government – the Kingdom. A kingdom is not a religion. It’s the influence of a government over a domain or a territory. It’s the impact of a king over a territory. That’s why it’s called a “king-dom” – a king’s domain.
So miracles, signs and wonders are not for entertainment. Miracles are not supposed to be used as a point of attracting believers to big meetings. Miracles, signs and wonders are supposed to show that another government, another authority, another power, another Kingdom is present. The more we preach the Kingdom, I guarantee you the more we will see miracles taking place; I mean on a daily basis. Just like any government impacts the land over which it rules, so will the Kingdom of God impact the world when we begin to appropriate its authority and power. That’s what Jesus did.
THE VOICE: Is there a need for more spiritual fathers in the local church; are there enough?
DR. MUNROE: I believe there’s a great need for spiritual fathers. That’s one of the greatest lacks we have in the Body of Christ.
That is why there is so much immorality, unethical behavior and corruption. Families are disintegrating, divorce is skyrocketing, rebellion is in the Church, and congregations are splitting. I am certain this is the result of a lack of fathering. We have many great preachers, fantastic singers, awesome teachers but very few fathers. Fathers are difficult to find because fathering has more to do with care than with charisma. It has more to do with responsibility than with performance. It has more to do with leadership, accountability and love than with fame, exposure and glory. Fathering requires a commitment to nurturing and developing others rather than using and benefiting from others.
In the Body of Christ lately there seems to be a tremendous pursuit of titles. It’s amazing that everyone wants a title but no one wants the title of father. They are pursuing the titles of bishops and apostles and prophets and evangelists, but how come no one desires to be a father? We are in dire need of spiritual fathers. We have very few people who are willing to lay their lives down for the sake of the development of other people.
THE VOICE: What’s it going to take for the eyes of those who should be spiritual fathers to open and step into that role? Where’s the disconnect?
DR. MUNROE: Many leaders today have not been properly fathered. My hope is that there will be fathers who will be strong enough in character to rebuke and correct and to restore some sanity to the people who are in leadership positions who have not been fathered.
THE VOICE: You prefer to teach rather than preach and this approach to ministry has obviously been well received by the masses. Why do you think this method is so effective?
DR. MUNROE: Because that’s what Jesus did. In my humble view, the difference between preaching and teaching is very important. To preach means to declare, to pronounce or to announce. To teach means to train and instruct for change. Preaching doesn’t change people. Preaching may attract, give information, alert people, even convict people, but teaching brings understanding and you cannot change until you understand. You cannot grow until you have information. That’s why Jesus taught. Jesus never preached to the disciples. He preached to the multitudes, but He taught His disciples. He announced the Kingdom to the multitudes but He taught the Kingdom to His disciples.
THE VOICE: As the founder of the International Third World Leaders Association, you have a unique perspective on the issues in these countries. What are the biggest challenges to spreading the Gospel in developing nations?
DR. MUNROE: The only ones that can reach these people are the people themselves. I believe that the greatest way to win the third world is to win the third world people first and let them go back into their own culture and into their own environment and share the Gospel. One of the greatest obstacles is the misconception of who Jesus is. Many third world people I work with have a concept of Christ that comes from what religion calls Christianity. In many ways Christianity has misrepresented Christ in a very terrible way. I’m talking about hundreds of years of history that has really damaged the image of Jesus. Many of these people don’t want to hear about Christianity.
Secondly, in many of these countries there are very strong cultic religions, and those religions have also twisted the concept that people have of Christ. We need to correct that. Thirdly, in many of those countries there is a misconception of God and the reason why Christ came to earth. We have misrepresented and almost made Jesus Christ synonymous with democracy. That’s dangerous because Christ is a King, not a president.
Finally, poverty and corruption are major issues in many of these countries because of poor leadership that was a product of oppression. People have been dispossessed. They have been raped of their dignity, their self-concept, self-worth and self-respect. Christianity is not enough as a religion. These people need restoration of self-concept and in many cases the religion of Christianity does not provide these answers. Many times it can provide the religion but it doesn’t provide restoration of the quality of life that people need to have to believe in themselves. So these are some of the issues that we need to look at in the 21st century and I hope the Church will take another look at what makes effective missions.
THE VOICE: How do you see the role of third world countries in spreading the Gospel around the world?
DR. MUNROE: I am convinced that the last world on earth is the third world; that God has now turned His face toward them. I am convinced that the greatest spiritual movement on earth is about to emerge and it will not emerge from the first world or the second world. It will emerge from the third world. It has already begun. I am a part of it. I represent them. The largest churches that exist today and the massive growing emerging ministries are in developing countries.
I believe that God is going to transfer the responsibilities for winning the world in this century to the third world people. Also keep in mind that the largest segment of the world’s population is in third world countries. So it is very natural for the Lord by His wisdom to move among those people to win their own people. If the second and first worlds are wise, they will begin to learn from the third world and find out what’s going on and not to try to impose their brand of Christianity on the third world because it will not and cannot work.
God is raising up people without anyone’s permission. He is calling them. He is anointing them without anyone’s sanction and the greatest leaders in the world to come will be third world leaders used of God. They are going to be products of their culture and God is going to use them to impact the world. And my prayer is that the second, first and third world believers will cooperate and not compete with each other and see the world won for Jesus.
THE VOICE: What have been the benefits of networking with other ministries?
DR. MUNROE: No one man can win the whole world but all men together under Christ can win the world. God will never place His program in the hands of any one person or one ministry. He’s too smart for that. But He will make it necessary for all of us to have a piece of everything and that’s why we need one another. One of the weaknesses of the Church in history is the spirit of exclusivity and isolation. That’s why denominations were developed. One move of God thought that it was the move of God and so they began to believe that previous or future moves could not be moves of God. This is very sad. The world seems to be wiser than us because it realizes it has strength and it has weakness and that’s why you have what they call merging companies. Some of the most successful companies in history are those that merged with other strong companies. The Church needs to learn that lesson and begin to network.
Networking is first understanding your strengths and weaknesses, appreciating the strengths of another and then joining your weakness to that person’s strength so that you can be stronger. We will not make it in this 21st century without networking. Networking requires, first of all maturity, secondly, the ability to submit to another man’s strength. Without those two added elements we remain prideful and weak.
THE VOICE: How can we break down the barriers between races and cultures in the Body of Christ?
DR. MUNROE: We have to reduce ourselves from every race to one race – and that is the human race. As long as we consider race beyond human race there will be racism. We need to get a revelation of what it means to be human. Racism and bigotry is not only related to pigmentation of skin. It can also be related to differences of opinions or differences of methods. We can be a racist between denominations and belief systems.
The source of racism is low self-esteem, low self-worth and a poor self-concept. Once you realize how valuable you are as a human and recognize that everybody else is also made in the same image as you are, then equality is an automatic result. The greatest command in the law is the secret to destroying racism and that is to love God with all your heart, your soul, and your strength. Then love yourself and love your neighbor to the same degree that you love yourself. Until you love yourself, racism will always be present.
Racism is a sign of self-hatred. I don’t care if you speak in tongues. I don’t care how many miracles you work. If you have problems with people who are different from you, then you are still suffering from self-hatred. If you discover and really understand God and love what God is and who God is, then you’ll naturally love yourself because you are made in His image. It’s impossible for you to love God and hate your brother.
THE VOICE: One of your key messages is “everyone is born for a God-given purpose and potential to fill that purpose.” How do you see the apostolic and prophetic ascension gifts helping believers recognize and walk out their purpose?
DR. MUNROE: The Apostle Paul said Christ gave to the Church some gifts, some functions. They are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to train the saints for the work of their ministry. That word “ministry” means to exercise their gifts. So the goal of all leadership is to help people under their care to first discover their purpose (the word “purpose” means original intent) and then help them develop the character and skill to execute that assignment. Then the Body will never suffer weakness because each one will bring to the table their gift, their strength. Purpose is the discovery of your reason for existing. Without purpose life is an experiment.
THE VOICE: Many believe there is a restoration of arts coming to the Church. You are a talented concert pianist, master of the guitar and worship leader. What do you perceive God is doing in the realm of arts and music in this hour?
DR. MUNROE: I think God is reclaiming everything, and rightfully so. He paid for it. Everything belongs to God. Sometimes we believe there is devil music or devil dance. There’s no such thing in Scripture. What we have is a thief who stole it and corrupted it. We need to repossess it and then convert it back to its original use: to show forth the nature and glory of God. THE VOICE: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the Body of Christ today and what must we do to address these issues?
DR. MUNROE: The Church is becoming impressed with itself. We seem to be preoccupied with promoting ourselves to ourselves. There seems to be such a clutch for self-promotion, self-labeling, self-advertisement, and self-possession. That is very dangerous because the commission God gave the Church is not to promote itself but to reach the world. Also, the world is being given a very distorted picture of the true message of the Kingdom.
Right now religion is the number one problem in the world and we know that all the terrorism that we are experiencing and the fear is mostly motivated by religion. Jesus Christ did not bring a religion into the world. He bought a Kingdom. The world doesn’t need another religion. It doesn’t need traditions and rituals. The world needs a practical application of principles and precepts that will impact their daily lives. Jesus said blessed are those who are poor spiritually for to them belong, not a religion, but the Kingdom of heaven. Only the Kingdom satisfies spiritual hunger – not religion.
Dr. Myles Munroe’s book, “Rediscovering the Kingdom” has helped open the eyes of countless Christians to the Kingdom message. Because of his writings the Kingdom of God is again in the minds and hearts of believers world wide.
Dr. Munroe is founder, president and senior pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries International, an all-encompassing network of ministries headquartered in Nassau, Bahamas. He is recognized as a leader in spiritual government and has been honored by natural governments. The Queen of England and the Governor General of the Bahamas have both recognized his service to the islands.
Edited by Kathy Bippus on 01/19/2012 at 12:50am