The brash billionaire has dominated headlines for his policies to ban Muslims from entering the USA and build a wall to keep Mexican immigrants out, as well as a variety of other outlandish statements. Perhaps the most egregious has been his hastily acquired Christian credentials. He released a video holding a Bible given to him as a child by his mother (whether he has actually read it isn’t stated) and has promised evangelical voters that ‘if I’m there, you’re going to have plenty of power’.
While many senior evangelicals have condemned Trump’s attempts to woo the Christian vote, many conservative voters seem to like his unapologetic brand of politics, and a few high profile Christian leaders have endorsed him. The promise of power and influence has always exerted attraction, but the sad truth is that whenever Christianity weds itself to political might it morphs into a counterfeit of the real thing.
I’m also willing to bet that Donald Trump’s view of leadership is very different from that of Jesus, who said: ‘But among you it will be different.
Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else’ (Mark 10:43-44, NLT).
Sometimes leadership isn’t about winning – it’s about losing. As Lent begins, we tell a story again of a King who ‘came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Mark 10:45, NLT).
The theme of leadership is worked out in a number of ways in this month’s magazine. Lucinda van der Hart’s survey of the range of ways in which churches can use personality tools to build their team will be a revelation to many. There’s also practical advice on how to avoid the pitfalls of perfectionism in leadership by Will van der Hart (yes, it’s a husband and wife double whammy!).
However Donald Trump’s own leadership fares in the nomination race, I pray that those watching on will be able to distinguish between real and counterfeit Christianity, and discern what he represents.
PS We’ll be revealing an exciting artistic project called THE STATIONS in next month’s Easter edition. There will be a corresponding exhibition from 15th March–10th April at St Martin-in-the- Fields, London. Mark your calendar!