A new type of church leadership is needed

TOPICS: In Aquarius leaders must be the servants of all – an organization meant to help people attain Christhood – anti-disciples – the church was made for man, not man for the church – the machine of the anti-teachers – how power struggles destroy spiritual organizations – misusing a teaching to defend unbalanced leaders – leaders who feel threatened – balanced people often reluctant to speak out – the difference between criticism and Christ exposure – when the ego is offended – your responsibility as a true student –

Question from Kim: Jesus, you have talked about unbalanced church leaders. How can leaders of spiritual organizations become balanced? What type of leaders would you like to see emerge in modern Christian churches and in other spiritual organizations?

Answer from ascended master Jesus through Kim Michaels:

When I appeared 2,000 years ago, I came not only to bring forth teachings for the Age of Pisces; I came to set the foundation for the Age of Aquarius. I gave many teachings that, if implemented, would have built this foundation. In terms of leadership, the central paradigm for leadership in the Aquarian age is my statement, “He, who would be greatest among you, let him be the servant of all.”

The problem is that so few people have understood the importance of this statement, and the reason is that they have not understood the true purpose of the ascended masters. It is sad to see people who have been followers of Christ for decades and yet have not fully understood the real purpose behind the creation of the Christian religion.

The purpose for the creation of any spiritual organization is always centered around the individual disciple and not the outer organization. The outer organization is designed for the purpose of helping people manifest Christhood. Therefore, to the ascended masters an organization is never seen as a goal in itself but simply as a means to an end.
[For detailed teachings on the true purpose of religion, see the book Save Yourself]

Unfortunately, people find it extremely difficult to make this distinction. They so often become attached to the outer organization and begin to see it as a goal in itself. This is what destroyed the early Christian movement and created the orthodox Church. This same mechanism has influenced virtually every true spiritual organization on this planet.

A true leader of a spiritual organization will be fully committed to the Christhood of the individual members. The goal of such a leader is to help each person manifest Christhood by walking the individual path, the inner path to God. Such a leader will first of all strive to follow that path and attain some measure of personal Christhood. A true leader realizes that you lead by example, you teach by example, and if you have not embodied the teachings and manifested Christhood, you really have no legitimate claim to leadership.

The problem with all spiritual organizations is that they tend to attract a number of anti-disciples. An anti-disciple is a person who follows the way that seems right unto a man. The nature of the anti-disciple is the focus on the outer path and a failure to see the true, inner path behind the outer teaching and organization. Therefore, the anti-disciple inevitably becomes focused on the outer teaching and the outer organization. Such a person does not understand that even the outer teaching is not a goal in itself.

It is very important for true spiritual seekers to recognize that even a true teaching can become a trap. The real purpose of a spiritual teaching is not to present a complete and infallible doctrine. It is to stimulate the students to look beyond the outer doctrine, to read between the lines and thereby attain an inner experience, a gnosis, of the true mystical teaching that cannot be expressed in words.

Likewise, the goal of the organization is simply to provide a platform for people’s individual path to Christhood. God created every lifestream with a unique individuality, and as you attain Christhood, you will naturally begin to express your God-given individuality, as opposed to the false individuality of the human consciousness, or dualistic mind.

The bottom line for leadership of any spiritual organization should be a clear recognition that the role of the leader is to be the servant of all. The other side of this recognition is the true meaning of my statement about the Sabbath. Did I not say, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath?” This then applies also to a church. The church was made for man, for spiritual growth. Man was not made for the church, and therefore the true path of individual Christhood must never be restricted by the outer organization.

Relate this to what I said elsewhere about the unbalanced people who develop a sense of extreme importance and mission. It is so easy for a disciple to feel that the goal of preserving and expanding the outer organization is more important than the Christhood of individual members. It is so easy to feel that it is justified to restrict the expression of Christhood in order to achieve what seems to be a worthy and necessary, perhaps even an all-important, goal for the organization. Or rather, this is so easy for the anti-disciple who has not understood the inner path and is therefore denying his or her personal Christhood.

The true path of the ascended masters is the inner path that leads to individual Christhood. The false path of the false teachers is the outer path, which leads lifestreams to become cogs in the wheels of the machines of the anti-teachers who attempt to create a mechanical path to salvation.
There is a way that seems right unto the anti-disciple, but the end thereof is truly the death of the Christ flame in your heart. Choose you this day whom ye will serve. Follow the true disciples of the ascended masters and leave behind the anti-teachers and their anti-disciples.

Kim: Some church leaders seem to imply that members should not be critical of church leadership. It almost sounds like some leaders believe that anyone who speaks out against leadership is being critical and therefore out of alignment with Christ. Such people seem to say that in order to maintain harmony, people should support leadership unconditionally. What are your comments?

Jesus: Once again, any teaching we give is a two-edged sword and can be misused by people who are trapped by the dualistic mind.

The reality is that as long as people are in an unbalanced state of mind, as long as they are trapped in the black-and-white approach to the path, then they can speak out only with a vibration of criticism or anger. What I said about leaders applies equally to members. If one of your four lower bodies is filled with a spiritual poison LINK, then it will spill over to your speech and actions.

This then leads a group of unbalanced members to speak out against a group of unbalanced leaders, and the inevitable result is a power struggle. Such a power struggle between various factions of unbalanced people can go on for a long time, and in the past it has destroyed or split several spiritual organizations.

There is no question that unbalanced members often speak out against leadership with a vibration of criticism. Obviously, such students are out of alignment with the middle way of the Christ consciousness. So I strongly encourage such people to let go of their attachments, which cause them to be critical, and instead work on attaining the balance of the Christ mind.

Nevertheless, there are a couple of things that must be said in this regard. One is that in the past unbalanced leaders in many organizations have demonstrated that they do not tolerate criticism, constructive or otherwise. Therefore, it becomes easy for leaders to use elements of the organization’s spiritual teachings to reject any attempt by members to question or challenge leadership.

For example, Christian leaders can use my teaching about turning the other cheek to argue that members should not challenge leadership. Or they might argue that they derive their authority from some spiritual lineage that they trace back to me. In reality, a spiritual teaching was never meant to give church leaders a blank check for doing whatever they want and then rejecting protests from members. History has clearly shown that when an organization allows leaders to assume a position with no accountability, then there WILL be misuse of power. Although some people naively think that this could not happen in their church, this is a dangerous illusion.

Church leaders should be the first to live the spiritual teaching and practice what I preach. I often chastised the Jewish authorities for not living up to this demand and for imposing burdens on their followers that they were not willing to bear. The simple truth is that if church leaders truly have the balanced perspective of the Christ mind, they will be able to listen to what a member has to say without in any way reacting to the person’s vibration of criticism or anger. The anger simply will not affect them, and therefore they will be able to listen and evaluate whether the person really has a message that they need to hear.

In contrast, an unbalanced leader is in a very fragile position. Because his leadership is not based on the rock of Christhood, but on the shifting sands of the lower consciousness, the leader constantly feels threatened by anything that seems to challenge his position, his beliefs or his methods. Therefore, such a leader will be unable to look for the truth behind a person’s criticism.

The basic problem in a spiritual organization is that when unbalanced leaders start misusing power, the more balanced people will be reluctant to speak out against this. Therefore, people will often tolerate misuses of power until it gets so bad that they can no longer remain silent.

As the tension continues to grow, some members will eventually speak out. Unfortunately, if people are not completely balanced, this will cause them to speak out with anger. I am not saying this anger is excusable. I am only saying that due to the dynamics of the situation, it is inevitable that some people will speak out with a feeling of anger against leadership and the abuse of power by that leadership.

The unfortunate result of this process is that we end up with a clash between leaders and members, and this leads to an impasse which none of the unbalanced people can resolve. The members will feel that leaders are misusing power and ignoring their attempts to stop this. Leaders will feel that members are being unfairly critical, and therefore they feel justified in ignoring what the members are saying. In other words, both sides are absolutely convinced that they are right and that their cause is just. Yet in reality both are unbalanced, and therefore both sides are out of alignment with the middle way. I am not saying that both sides do not have some correct viewpoints. They often do, but they are still missing the mark of Christhood.

What can break this impasse? Only the balanced people have any chance of breaking it, but in some cases even they cannot do so. The key realization here is that there is a fundamental difference between the criticism that springs from the lower mind and the exposure, the dividing of the way between truth and error, that springs from the Christ mind.

Consider what is the essence of spiritual growth and the relationship between a spiritual teacher and a student. The student has fallen into a lower state of consciousness and cannot raise himself above that state of consciousness because of spiritual blindness. It is necessary that the teacher steps in and exposes those psychological mechanisms that cause the student to be trapped in the lower state of consciousness. In other words, the teacher must sometimes be very direct in exposing to a student that he or she is trapped by, for example, pride. You will see this done by all true teachers, and you saw me doing this to both my disciples and others.

If a student is completely absorbed in the lower state of consciousness, that student’s ego will be mortally offended by the teacher’s directness. In fact, the student’s ego will see this as criticism, condemnation or judgment, and many people did indeed level such accusations against me when I challenged them. So the question becomes whether the teacher should leave the student alone or fulfill his role as a teacher by attempting to point out the student’s shortcomings. This then applies equally to the interaction between church members and church leaders.

If church leaders have become trapped on the outer path and begin to misuse power, then would it be right for church members to simply ignore this? From the perspective of the ascended masters, this would not be correct. We expect our true students to step into the role of teacher and be very direct in exposing the shortcomings and wrongdoings of leadership. This is simply the responsibility you have as a Christed being. However, if you speak out from a position of the middle way of the Christ consciousness, you will not speak out with anger or a vibration of criticism. You will simply state the highest truth you see and let the chips fall where they may.

There is no guarantee that bringing the Christ perspective into a debate will cause a change in church culture. So if you do speak out from the balanced perspective of the Christ mind and see no change in the church, your next step might be to simply leave the organization behind and find other ways to express your Christhood. Even we of the ascended masters have often had to leave organizations behind when the members of those organizations were no longer open to our directions. However, this must be an individual decision, and I am not hereby making a general recommendation.


Copyright © 2009 by Kim Michaels