The Bible is full of examples of leaders who exemplify additional traits that God uses to lead His people. All of these examples come directly from these people’s intimacy with God.
David (“What’s next?” vs. “Why me?”) Because David believed that God would be in any and every situation/decision he faced, he stepped outside of his comfort zone to act in greatness and love, even in the bleakest of circumstances, including the terminal illness of his newborn son (2 Samuel). We would do well to adopt the following into our vocabulary in preaching to ourselves and those we lead/influence:
“Who knows? God might be merciful.”
“Who knows? God might use His power on my behalf.”
“Who knows? God might surprise me with something supernatural.”
Jonathan I think this relates particularly to our treatment of each other as fellow leaders. Jonathan never viewed David as a threat to his own inheritance – in fact, he gave his brother his heart. Let’s commit to never using people to achieve power/recognition, nor feeling threatened by a sister or brother whose gifts seem to trump our own. The acid test of discipleship is love. Learning to love without defense, pretense, or strings attached is the true test of a Godly leader.
Joseph Despite Joseph’s rapid rise to immeasurable success and power, he finished the race without compromising his beliefs or character. His moral authority was born of a surrendered heart of recognition of his stewardship. We are all “prone to wander,” and must take a daily inventory of our heart and mind to remain standing upright and walking humbly with our God.
Solomon Without God’s wisdom, we remain the blind leading the blind. Alone, we are nothing. Studying Solomon’s writing and other scriptures, conversing with other believers on difficult decisions and praying for the Holy Spirit’s guidance are essential practices for leaders and disciples.
Jeremiah by all worldly accounts, Jeremiah’s ministry was a disaster. He never saw “success,” yet his influence reaches to eternity. His ability to remain focused was due in large part to his candidness with God, who heard his cries of frustration and disappointment, and replaced them with hope and healing. Don’t be afraid to bring the Lord your heartbreaks, fears and failures and to share them with each other. Leaders perhaps know more than anyone loneliness and letdown yet must move through if their ministry is to continue. Lamentations 3:22-23 – “For your compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Esther as a woman chosen more for her beauty than her skills, Esther’s bravery is that much more powerful and convincing of God’s provision and prompting. The quintessential example of servant leadership, she risked her life to save her people from a dangerous king. As a leader there will be many circumstances when you are in a position where you need to act, often immediately, in a role outside of your gifting. While it sounds contradictory, this is what God has sowed in you to do – although you will have to learn to do it afraid.
Paul Leaders, by nature, don’t do things half-way. Paul exemplifies total commitment of mind, body and spirit, which raised the bar and motivation of those he touched. Your focus, commitment to excellence, passion for Jesus and commitment to your unique place on the wall will elevate your students’ expectations of themselves and subsequent performance of their own role in the kingdom. 1 Cor. 9:24.
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