Tag Archives: leadership

2 Chronicles 8-10; Try A Little Tenderness

Rehoboam didn’t inherit the wisdom his father, King Solomon, had possessed. His first act as the newly crowned king of Israel split the nation in such a way that Jews became enemies of Jews. Rehoboam’s actions had consequences that were felt for generations. And it started with a word.

Play the tough guy, Rehoboam, so people respect you. Come down hard so they obey you.

I wonder how Israel’s history would read if Rehoboam had replied to Jeroboam with a little kindness.

I don’t know what position of authority you hold. You might be a preacher, a CEO of a large company, or a small one. You might be the shift manager at a fast food restaurant, a parent, a teacher, the captain of your HS football team. I would suggest we all take a lesson from Rehoboam.

Ruling with an iron fist, making sure people know they are under your thumb, does not encourage loyalty. Oh, they may obey you while looking for another job, or counting the days until they can get out of your house. But rest assured, more likely than not they will leave you the minute they can.

Authority doesn’t have to be mean. Taking a stand doesn’t mean beating people into submission. A person can be firm and kind at the same time.

“You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Not sure why anyone would go fly-hunting, but I get it. Treat people the way you want them to treat you, goes for the workers and the bosses, the children and the parents, the parishioners and the pastor.

Rehoboam’s story tells me meanness divides. Try a little tenderness.


I Samuel 13-14; Follow The Leader

If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you jump, too?

Ever hear that one before? Maybe you’ve even said it to a young person you are concerned is following the wrong crowd. We all want our children to be leaders. But is there a time to teach them to follow?

My church had VBS this week. What a great time we had talking to kids about how much the Creator of the universe loves them, and how far that love goes to save them. We were Galactic Starveyors!

On our last night, when we were having our last practice before the closing program for parents, we had a visitor. An 11 year old boy came with his grandma, who was one of our teachers. I was in charge of music, and encouraged the youngster to practice the songs with us. I tried to assure him I’d help him learn the motions as quickly as possible.

“Just follow me,” I said.

Without skipping a beat the boy replied, “I’m not a follower. I’m a leader.”

I get that. He’s a good looking boy, a good student, a gifted athlete, and an all around nice guy. I hope he’s a leader in his school. I think his classmates would do well to follow his example.

But is there a time when even the best leaders should learn to be followers, too? I will tell you he got up there with the rest of the kids and did a crash course in song motions. Not an easy thing to do in front of peers who already knew what they were doing.

The Israelites and the Philistines were preparing to go to war. Not only was the Israeli army outnumbered by about a gazillion to one, on the day of the battle “not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or a spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.” (13:22)

Can you spell “defeat?”

So Jonathan told his armor bearer to follow him and together they’d sneak into the Philistine post. His armor bearer replied, “Do all that you have in mind… I am with you heart and soul.” (14:7)

If your friend jumped into the Philistine camp, would you jump, too?

How do you know when to lead, and when to follow someone else’s lead? In this case Jonathan asked for God’s direction, then followed the Lord into battle – just he and his armor bearer – and defeated all the men at the enemy outpost.

Who do you follow, and why? Maybe you’re a Type A person who feels you’re the only one who can do any job, so therefore people should follow you.

There are so many theologies preached by so many different preachers, so many programs touted by so many “experts,” so many opinions voiced by so many people. Who do you follow?

My prayer is that you will weigh everything and everyone according to Scripture plus nothing. Only that which is grounded in the Word of God is worth following.

Jonathon waited for God. We need to, too. Whether it’s a building campaign, a missions trip, a city project, a Sunday School curriculum, our leader should first and foremost be God.

If God is laying some position of leadership on your heart, go to Him. Test Him. Then obey Him.

And if God is raising up another to lead you, go to God. This might just be a case where God is calling you to follow with your “heart and soul.”

Jan 31 – Oh, Moses

Exodus 4-6

Moses. Moses. Moses. (I am shaking my head) You really didn’t want to be Israel’s leader, did you?

Six time in the chapters we read today, Moses tried to talk God out of sending him. He said things like, ‘They won’t believe me.’ ‘I am slow of speech.’ ‘Please send someone else.’ ‘Why did you ever send me?’ ‘If the Jews won’t listen to me, what makes You think Pharaoh will?’ ‘Pharaoh won’t pay attention to me because of the way I talk.’

Sometimes Moses protested right after God promised to do great things through him. And sometimes God was a little angry at this reluctant leader.

Moses seems to be inhibited by his speech. Did he stutter? Did he have a deformity? If it was holding Moses back, why didn’t God just heal him? God does all things well. And in this case, Moses didn’t need to be healed.

Reading about Moses reminds me God can use the least of us to accomplish great things. We don’t have to be the best looking, most talented, most charismatic people in the church. What we need is to trust God, to obey Him even if our knees are shaking.

The Charlton Heston version of Moses shows a strong, confident, fierce leader who led the Israelites out of Egypt. But I’m not so sure Moses was really that person. From what I read today, Moses might have been a bit more of a wimp than that.

God delights in revealing Himself through those of us who depend solely upon Him. Nobody was going to look at Moses and say, “He was born to be a great leader.” But they will look at Moses and say, “Wow. Moses has a great God.”

I want them to say that about me, too.



Godly Leaders

I am one who was saddened by the recent Supreme Court’s decision on marriage. I had hoped our leaders would have upheld our laws. But in this day and age, leadership seems to be following opinion, and not always the opinion of the majority.

Ok. That was purely opinion. But I was reminded this morning as I read God’s Word, how important it is for those in positions of leadership to be led by God. Leaders have enormous influence and, with it, great responsibility.

Solomon was a great leader, as we read in 2 Chronicles. But he raised a stupid son whose first act as king was to alienate the people and destroy the kingdom. (2 Chronicles 10)

The people of Lystra wanted to worship Paul and Barnabas after Paul healed a lame man. (Acts 14) But when the apostles told them they were mere men and not gods, the Lystonians turned their attention toward Jews from Antioch who spoke against Paul and Barnabas. The result? The people of Lystra went from wanting to worship them, to wanting to stone them. Just like that.

The Bible is not wrong when it calls us sheep. Too often we follow the leader blindly, without question, without thought. Those of us in positions of leadership, whether Sunday School teachers, CEO’s, policemen, pastors, History teachers, parents… need to go about our responsibilities prayerfully, soberly, intentionally because people are following our lead. People with eternal souls.

Who do we go to for advice? What do we read? What voices are we listening to? Are we leading according to God’s Word, or on the word of popular opinion?

Dear one, let’s determine to pray for our leaders. We’ve got leaders in government, in civil service, in churches, schools, and homes. And, in reality, all of us have leadership responsibilities in one form or another. Let’s ask God to be our Guide. Let’s spend time in his Word, seeking his will, hearing his voice and drowning out the voices that would lead us astray.

I said I was saddened by the actions of our Supreme Court. But maybe this is the wake-up call we Christians need to get involved in leadership positions in our nation. Maybe this ruling will be what the Church needs to stand firm as we follow our Lord. No doubt God can bring something good out of even this, if we hear his voice and obey.

Dear God, I thank you for our leaders. I pray for President Obama and ask that he would be drawn to you, that he would obey your voice for the decisions he makes concerning our nation. I pray for Senators and Congressmen, for court officials, for our military and our police force. I pray for pastors, teachers, leaders of industry, supervisors, coaches, parents. May hearts be humbled before you and may you find us all willing to follow your lead. I pray that you would lay on the hearts of godly men and women to get involved in the politics of our nation. And may your children support them with prayers and votes. And, Lord, no matter what leadership roles we find ourselves in, I pray that we would look to you for guidance. May you find us faithful.


A Modern-Day Jezebel

Ahab and Jezebel’s story as recorded in I Kings 20 reminds me of what is happening in the US these days. Evil people want our land, they want control over what was a nation under God. So they’ve invited us to a “feast”. They lie about Christians, villainize us so that the Truth we stand for looks like evil. They say we blaspheme a loving god when we tell them Jesus is the only Truth. They hate us but convince themselves it is we who hate them. And we, like Naboth, don’t recognize the danger we’re in. We’ve joined their party and it’s going to cost us everything.

That’s been Satan’s strategy since the Garden. He’s had a lot of practice and he’s good at getting into our heads. He’s a master at distorting the truth. And he makes sin look normal, pleasing, harmless, our right.

Naboth was killed in the end. Our civilization is dying, too. And we, like Naboth, are just sitting here dining with the enemy and not defending ourselves. Remember, our enemy is not flesh and blood, but Satan, anti-christ philosophy. AndĀ if we don’t stand up to the people who are robbing us of our land, we will lose it all.

Father, I pray you will raise up men and women who not only know you and the Truth of Scripture, but who will stand up in Jesus’ name to defend it. I pray that you will lay on the hearts of godly people the desire to get involved in our political system and reclaim the US for a nation built upon you. Help us to recognize Satan’s lies, to be discerning hearers of the news, to speak up in love, and draw all men and women to you. I pray for this once-great nation. May we repent of the sins of ourselves and our leaders and call on you to heal our land.


April 12

I Samuel 10:1-13:22

Saul is Israel’s first flesh and blood king. He wasn’t real sure he wanted the position, was he? They found him hiding in the baggage the day they annointed him. Some of his neighbors weren’t too thrilled with the choice, either. But Saul proved to be a great military leader and the people eventually accepted him as their king.

But as you read today, did you see how quickly Saul allowed his new-found position to give him a sense of entitlement? Saul wanted Samuel to offer up a burnt offering and Samuel was late in arriving. So Saul did it himself.

When Samuel saw what Saul had done, he told the king that the nation would be taken from him, that God had already chosen his successor.

Once again I am remided that it doesn’t matter who you think you are. God’s standards cannot be broken without serious consequences. You can be a lowly slave or the king of Israel and the rules are the same.

Let’s not get so full of ourselves that we assume God will make an exception for us. Saul found out the hard way a lesson we all must learn.

Father, we bow before you today as the One who wrote the rule book. May you find us obedient, knowing that it doesn’t matter who we are. You expect the same of all of us.