The Many Faces of Leadership
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The word alone is powerful. There are so many ingredients found in the “cake mix” of leadership that it is often hard to determine what would make the best cake on this subject.
The many, many facets of leadership are outstanding in quality and in integrity. Two of the many biblical heroes are Caleb and Joshua. God told them to explore Canaan and a team went out. When the team returned all, except Caleb and Joshua, believed that Canaan was out of their reach because the people were giants and powerful. Caleb’s confidence was not in the size of men, but in God. His response to the people was “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” [NIV Numbers 13:30]. Caleb’s confidence remained in the Lord. Of all the men that Moses sent to search out Canaan, only two survived - Caleb and Joshua. All the rest were struck down and died of a plague never to enter the Promised Land.
A good leader will stand against the majority and will testify of his commitment to the higher plans. Nothing is impossible for he believes. In this case, Caleb believed and saw what God had
planned for the Israelites. His faith was astounding and he was rewarded for entrance into the Promised Land.
Joshua is the one who gets to lead the people into Canaan and God tells him that wherever his foot steps the land will be the Israelites. God tells Joshua, “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them…then you will be prosperous and successful…for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” [NIV Joshua 1:6,8,9b]. Joshua’s success would lie in his personal obedience to God and His words to him.
A good leader must be willing to be taught first, and then he can teach others. What he believes in, will encourage others to have the same vision. A good leader will have the loyalty of those under him. In Joshua 1:16, “Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.” Employees, soldiers, and subjects will give their all when their captain is strong and resolute in vision and in teaching. The captain commands loyalty and receives it willing. His men would die for him because his teaching has instilled within them a vision of victory.
One of the best examples we have in leadership is Jesus Christ. He dare to go where no man
went before! At times, He was unpopular. He was hated, but He came to do the Father’s will.
He dared to “meet” people in their place, and His love stirred them. He had a purpose though few saw it, and even his disciples did not comprehend His existence or His vision though their time was spent being instructed by Him. His leadership went the extra mile. He taught in life situations, and He met men on their level.
A good leader instructs in every facet of ministry. Jesus taught and met their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. He took the time to teach.
Jesus modeled love and forgiveness. He was passionate. So passionate was He that He died for us, and He tells us to be willing to lay down our lives as He did for ours. After His death, burial and resurrection, He continues to teach when He gave the Great Commission. A good leader will be an example in all that He does and says. His words and testimony will remain within the hearts of men as they remember and pattern their lives after him.
Walter Lippman states, “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.” Jesus Christ did that. He gave us His life and His words - the Bible. It should be our vision to carry on.
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