In a management seminar I attended recently, a speaker talked about ''our society's leadership crisis.'' He saw a dangerous loss of public faith in those who govern and an almost mindless popular search for a single personality - he called it a search for a ''messiah'' - to take over and make things better. However, he proposed another solution. He suggested that more of us take responsibility for helping our various government leaders be the effective people we want them to be.
His comments put me onto a new path of thought about my own leadership crisis. There'd been a change in top management in my organization. I found myself caught up in speculation and worry, banding together with a group of fellow ''sufferers'' to lament the absence of someone in authority who could solve our problems in the way we thought they should be solved.
I knew better. As a Christian Scientist, I was accustomed to praying each day to see, and show in my life, God's supremely good government.
I needed a clearer view of God if this leadership crisis was to be resolved with blessings for all involved. I knew from past Christian Science healings that I was being asked to allow the facts of God to replace stubborn opinions, fear, and headstrong actions.
Studying the Bible helped me in this change of basis. The Psalms poured out evidence of God's control. Psalm 91 reminded me that God defends and shelters. And Psalm 62 announces, ''God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.'' 1
The history of Israel recorded in the Bible reminded me that as the people and the governors of that nation joined in acknowledging God as their Lawgiver and King, Israel was at its best. Trouble came when they relinquished this vision of God.
At the time of Christ Jesus, many people's hopes were focused on the promised Messiah as a political force. They looked for his coming to restore temporal power to the territorial dominion of Israel. But Jesus had a more vital kingdom to restore. He was in the business of proving beyond a doubt the justice and constancy of God's supreme government right at hand. While Jesus paid little attention to the political intrigues of his time, his healing work, his teaching , and his final victory over death sounded the immanence of God through the corridors of power as well as in the streets and marketplaces. The power of the healing Christ, exemplified by Jesus, is the evidence of God's absolute government.
If I needed a model to follow - a model of obedience to God's leadership - I had only to consider Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane: ''Not as I will, but as thou wilt.''2 His prayer expressed his spiritual vision of the oneness and perfection of God and God's governing will. To know and do the will of God is the right of each individual no matter what his or her rank, position, or job description may be.
Christ Jesus' example was a guiding beacon to Mary Baker Eddy, who faced many leadership challenges in her work of founding the Church of Christ, Scientist. She recognized the power behind Jesus' example to be the divine authority of the Christ - the power of God, Truth, governing all creation. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures she makes this comment, which is most helpful to one seeking a more spiritual sense of leadership and government: ''Reflecting God's government, man is self-governed.''3
As I yearned for a purer sense of God's government controlling all, including me and each individual with whom I work, I began to see not a crisis in leadership so much as an opportunity to be more rightly self-governed. I actually began to see ways that I could help this new boss and appreciate qualities that new leadership would bring to our work.
What is more important to me is my growing confidence in God's final authority in whatever decision affects me and others. The transforming influence of tha Christ grows more vivid each day as the truly masterful leadership that guides toward spiritual self-government. All of us - boss and staff - stand side by side under this government, impelled by Love's clear direction.
1 Psalms 62:11. 2 Matthew 26:39. 3 Science and Health, p. 125. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord is our judge the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lodr is our king; he will save us. Isaiah 33:22