Another characteristic that Marquardt and Berger associate with successful global leadership is what they call a “global mindset.” According to them, these leaders display certain behaviors and outlooks that help them rise above other leaders. One of those outlooks is that they have a “unifying global vision” (v. 19). Did Jesus have a unifying global vision? Let’s take a look.
One passage that sheds light on this questions is John chapter 4, where we read about Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman drawing water from Jacob’s well. The woman speaks first.
“Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:20-24, NASB).
Jesus expresses a global mindset here. While his contemporaries were entangled in a caustic dispute about whether the proper place to worship was Jerusalem or Samaria, he announced that the time had come when the correct answer was “none of the above.” For his kingdom, geography would no longer be a consideration (John 4:20-24).
He taught his followers that they would inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). He called them the salt of the earth, not the salt of Palestine (Matthew 5:13). His prayer was for a kingdom on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). He commanded his followers to make students of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). These references and many more show that Jesus had a global perspective and that he expected his organization to encompass the entire globe.
As a clarification, I should point out that there is no evidence that Jesus envisioned a universal global human government characterized by centralized authority maintained through police and military force. This was the mistake made by the Roman church (and later by the Protestant Church in Germany) which led to Christendom. Christendom (rather than Christianity) was the fusion of biblical beliefs with the power of the state to enforce compliance. It’s hard to understand how the early church made the leap from the humble Jesus of Nazareth who washed his disciple’s feet to powerful popes who could command armies to war. But the lure of power is difficult to resist, even for those who try to follow Christ.
Jesus made it clear that his kingdom was not that type. In fact, the growth of his kingdom does not require the abolishment of traditional nationalistic kingdoms. Rather than replace such kingdoms, Jesus’ kingdom transcends all kingdoms.
The New Jerusalem of Revelation 21 will descend from heaven to the New Earth. There is an intriguing statement in verse 24 about how the kings of the earth will bring their glory into the gates of the city. These gates are never closed for there is no more war, no more violence, and the entire globe is bathed in the light of God’s glory.
Again, Jesus passes the test for behing considered a “global leader.”
But what about the next criterion: technology enthusiast. That’s for another post.
Greg Waddell provides consulting services for churches and organizations. Contact Dr. Waddell today at gregwaddell[at]leadstrategic.com to discuss the needs of your organization.
Marquardt, Michael J., and Nancy O. Berger. Global Leaders for the 21st Century. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2000.