Laban Type Leadership: Don’t Be Like Laban
“And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go TO MY OWN PLACE and TO MY OWN COUNTRY. Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know my service which I have done for you.” And Laban said to him, “Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the LORD HAS BLESSED ME FOR YOUR SAKE.” Then he said, “Name me your wages, and I will give it.” So Jacob said to him, “You know how I have served you and how your livestock has been with me. For what you had before I came was little, and it has increased to a great amount; the LORD has blessed you since my coming. And now, when shall I also provide for my own house?”
In this story, Laban refused to release Jacob for his services because Jacob was the cause of Laban’s prosperity. Jacob worked for Laban for 20 years before he decided to leave and venture off into his own endeavors. 14 of those years were spent working for the companionship of Jacob’s wives, Rachael and Leah. The other 6 years were spent working for all of the livestock Jacob accumulated. Jacob even stated that Laban changed the agreement for his labor 10 times. Jacob was abused and misused by Laban for 20 years without ever complaining about it.
After having withstood enough, Jacob finally spoke up for himself and confessed to Laban that he wanted his own things. He wasn’t satisfied working for Laban. He knew that there were greater things in store for him. However, Laban did not want to release him. He refused and even tried to make a deal with Jacob to pay him to stay. Eventually, Jacob ran away without telling Laban and made a covenant with him which ultimately allowed Jacob to leave Laban’s land in peace.
Today, we see a very similar scenario take place in many churches. Where there is a senior leader who is afraid or hesitant to release anointed men and women who are under them because of the prosperity and addition these individuals bring to their ministry and personal success. These are LABAN TYPE LEADERS! The “Laban Type Leader” is a leader, who through selfish-motivation, oppress the members of that flock through manipulation and abuse in order to build the work of that house and to build HIS OWN PERSONAL NAME. This particular leader does not have a strong enough anointing nor a large enough capacity to build their particular work through their own resources and gifting, so they rely on the anointing, gifting, and resources of others without having personal concern for these individual’s personal calling, ministry, and mandate.
The Spirit of Laban is a spirit that works primarily through leaders. Like Laban, these leaders are promise breakers. Laban changed Jacob’s wage 10 times in order to ensure his own personal success. (Gen. 31:6-7). These leaders have no consideration or interest in the well-being of their sheep or their leaders. They only do what seems right in their own eyes. These leaders also ignore the concept of personal identity and destiny. They take no interest in the development of any vision other than their own. Some of these leaders may even release someone into ministry but deems it a threat if this ministry becomes more successful than their own.
Laban Type Leaders dread releasing people from their ministry to establish their own. This is a leadership model which opposes the Apostolic leadership model of raising up, sending out, and releasing. There is a fear in Laban Type Leaders to release people because of the possibility of ministerial failure. LABAN TYPE CHURCHES are churches that are primarily dependent upon the anointing of individuals instead of being dependent upon the Spirit of Christ. It is a people focused church instead of a Spirit focused church. Laban Type Leaders and Churches hate to release people because they fear their church and ministry will decrease in numbers and effectiveness or even shipwreck without particular individuals being involved. They need certain people involved in order to “keep the show going”. The problem with this type of ministry is that it neglects the concept of spiritual reproduction. Spiritual fathers reproduce themselves in the lives of others not only to ensure the advancement of the Kingdom of God, but also to reduce the problem of being totally dependent on individuals.
One of the main problems with the spirit of Laban is that it ignores the Word of the Lord spoken over individual’s lives. “Jacob said to Laban, ‘Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my country. Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go…’” (Gen. 30:25-26). Really what Jacob was saying here was, “God spoke over me that He would make of me a great nation and multiply my seed, but I can’t do that here. I need to go to MY OWN PLACE AND MY OWN COUNTRY in order to fulfill the Word of the Lord spoken over my life.” Jacob was thinking according to his destiny. Laban ignored the Word of the Lord concerning Jacob out of selfish ambition. Laban Type Leaders only think according to their personal ministry and do not consider the destiny of those in their ministry unless it is affiliated with that ministry.
This spirit and type of leadership is not one which can be ignored. If these characteristics describe you or your leader you need to GET DELIVERANCE, GET COUNSELING, GET OUT OF THAT CHURCH, and OR A COMBINATION OF THE THREE!
Love you all,
Isaac M. Watson