I was watching a fascinating video on storytelling and the power of the antagonist found here on Youtube.

The Dark Knight, highlights a constant tension between Batman and Joker. The fundamental common objective they are both fighting for is the same: the soul of Gotham. One wants to destroy it, the other to rescue it.

One sees the potential of hope, the other is blinded by the brokenness.

When it comes to leadership do you fight for the potential and hope in the city? Or are do you lament about the ‘profane’ nature of ‘the world’? Are you in a protectionist mode, battening down the hatches in a last ditched effort to keep things ‘the way they used to be’? Or maybe you’re jaded and want the whole institution to come crashing down?

What kind of leader are you? Batman or Joker?

Joker leaders pit a worldview of a pristine yet insular church world against city. These leaders spend their time on thinking of ways to save church culture and ask questions like, “how can we meet the top 3 needs of our congregation? or “how can we train our people to withstand the forces ‘out there’? or heaven forbid, “how can we work on ourselves because in the end we get to escape this burning world for heaven eternity?”

But when we view the world through a lens of hope suddenly the storyline changes. Rather than a story predicated on fear or separation or even exclusivity (or help ourselves), we lead with a story bent on repair and restoration–what do I see now that can be made better and beautiful?

Batman leaders have a vision for the city tomorrow, because the Kingdom is at hand, and work towards glimpsing heaven NOW.

Batman doesn’t ultimately succeed in the Dark Knight. He chooses selfishly in the end, but that doesn’t make his identity any less valuable–he fundamentally struggles to glimpse better for the soul of the city.

What kind of leader are you? Let your vision lead you to the forefront of the city, not to merely managing a dying church culture.