Kings, Politicians and Civil Servants

There are three kind of people in most churches – kings, politicians and civil servants.  Kings have authority because of birth right.  The crown prince could be a holy, generous man or he could be a selfish, mean man – but he is still going to become king because of who his parents are,  It has nothing to do with him, but everything to do with his parentage.

But the truth is when a king realizes that he has authority and that he has done nothing to earn it, but it is a free gift from his lineage, then his gratitude means that he uses his power to help people and encourage people and lift people.  And because he knows that the people that he is helping cannot take his authority or life away, so he is not scared of them.  He doesn’t oil the squeakiest wheel, or get upset if someone is more talented than him or more confident than him, because he rests in the reality that his power and authority come solely from his birthright and not his abilities. 

In fact, the king rarely thinks about his own abilities.  He is just so grateful to be a king, that he uses every opportunity he has to serve others.  He is not self-obsessed, not worried, not manipulated – nor is he manipulated.  If people don’t want his help, he just moves on – there are enough people in the world that celebrate and welcome his help for him to worry and fret or get tetchy with those who don’t.  They just shake the dust off their feet, smile and move on!

Politicians on the other hand believe that their power comes from people.  So their whole life is spent afraid of people, every action is carefully calculated and planned so it doesn’t annoy people.  Politicians always gravitate to the grey as it offends the least amount of people.  A king will wear a beautiful, colourful suit or something a bit wild – they wear what they are comfortable and what they look good in.  Politicians will never step out of wearing what will offend the least amount of people, and they very quickly end up looking like clones of one another!

Kings welcome individuality, politicians want to reduce people to numbers – cogs in the machine who only have one purpose – to like the politician.  Politicians won’t stop destructive behaviour in case it upsets the perpetrator,  Politicians will never do what is right, they will do what is expedient.  They will never preach a message that bring life and revival, they will bring the message that never upsets anyone.  They will never feed you the bread of life as some people might not like bread, but will reduce their messages to baby food and gruel in order to avoid offending anyone.

Politicians are happy when people like them, but when people fail to like them and when people leave them they are sad – even if the people were destructive and everyone else is glad to see the back of them, the politician is still sad because they believe they have lost power by losing people! 

The problem with the political life is that you cannot please everyone.  Trying to do so will cause a huge problem!  This will lead to lying, pretending to be who you are not, it will lead to insanity as you become less and less like yourself to impress people who just are not worth impressing but you think they are because you think people are the key to power!  

Many pastors, due to a natural love for people, are politicians.  It’s not easy telling someone they are in the wrong, it’s not fun when people despise you or leave your church.  But listen – some people have to leave, sometimes the most powerful thing to do is to let some people leave: blessed subtraction I call it.  The whole church feels good because the one prodding and poking is gone!  Your authority, and wisdom, and life does not originate in people’s opinion – it originates in your birth to the King of Kings and Lord of Lord.  It originates in His love for you as His child – His love that will never end.

Civil servants find their source of power and life in the rules and regulations.  They pride themselves in the fact that they do things right, and are constantly criticising others for not doing things their way.  They are also – because of their brilliant ability and other’s glaring incompetence – overworked all the time, and will make sure you know it.  Their identity is found in their work and in their knowledge of their work.  The easiest way to upset them is to suggest that they are incompetent at work, and their constant source of fear is their line manager!

The problem with that is that civil servants are not perfect – so the only way they can truly shine is to knock as many other people’s lights out as possible.  And when someone comes along who knows who they are – the civil servant doesn’t know how to manage them.  Have you noticed that org charts don’t include royalty – so the civil servant doesn’t know what to do with a king, and generally tries to control them – and fails as the king knows their identity is secure so they are not afraid of manipulation, lies or control.

You have to realize that you are a king.  You are not a politician – your power does not come from people.  Jesus was hailed and praised one day and crucified the next.  People are fickle.  Never put your security in people, you will end up bound and led by those people away from your mission.  You will become bland – and you will become a mixture of patches crudely sewn by others and added to your pure satin dream.  You don’t need people to enter into freedom, you have it!

You are not a civil servant.  Foolish rules can be put aside.  You don’t get upset if people go above your head because your line manager might be your boss on the org chart – but ultimately your authority does not come from your position on the org chart but from your heritage and lineage.  You don’t get upset if people don’t do things the way you do things, because people are more important to you than protocol – you are a king.  You are secure, your authority was decided the moment you were born and you do not have to worry about your position, what the people think, how many people are following you, what the regulations say about X or Y, and all that kind of things.  

So today, be a maverick.  Do the right thing because it is the right thing.  Have lunch with someone four rungs below you on the org chart.  Tell someone who is being a nuisance to get lost.  Don’t take praise – or criticism – too seriously.  Learn how to know your Father in heaven and draw life from Him.  



Published by Tree of Life Church

We are a growing network of growing churches, with services weekly in Dagenham, Guildford, Watford, Croydon, Brentwood and Dorset. We are also planting churches in Cambridge, Suffolk, West Midlands and Hemel. Find out more at, and

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