What does God say about leadership, and how does it look. In Deuteronomy we find our first passage 1:13, “Choose wise, understanding, knowledgeable men from your tribes, and I’ll put them in authority over you.” Let's camp out here for a minute on the word wise. Wisdom is not just about brains, and book knowledge. Wisdom is about knowing what to do, having the right timing, and knowledge of the best way to accomplish the task. There is another example in James 3:3. “Who is wise and understanding among you?” Then it answers that question: “Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.” Who is wise among you? Not the person who knows the most, but James says, “is the person's whose works are done in wisdom.” In other words, he is the person who knows something about the principles of God's Word, but more importantly he applies that knowledge to the way he lives. That is what a wise man is. It is very important that we understand that wisdom consists of knowledge used appropriately.
Let’s look at our second verse James 3:17 it tells us, “17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” The Greek word rendered “gentle” in this verse is referring to “the quality not being overly impressed with a since of one’s self-importance.” When we are placed in authority we should never abuse that power. True wisdom has a gentleness about it. James says it is “peaceable”. Harsh people are never considered wise. They are always ready to give their opinion at a moments notice, but rarely think it through for longer than a minute.
The scariest leaders are those who bask in their power over others. They use their power to say whatever they feel like, to whomever they want, and usually leave a path of destruction a mile wide. General statements usually follow these people such as you know how they are, or just try to ignore them; my favorite let it go in one ear and out the other. The truth is there is no excuse for anyone to act this way. If you have ever worked in the medical field you are probably very familiar with these statements. In the OR orthopedic surgeons can be a little over bearing to say the least. However, there was one who was very mild manner, and was always willing to help however needed. Although we would try to be prepared for everyone, we always tried to go over the top for this particular surgeon because everyone appreciated his willingness to work, just like we did.
The point is you cannot will authority over anyone. They may have to do what you say, but respect will never be earned. Jesus did not force His power but continually modeled an effective leader. Mathew 20 … whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
One of the important things James points out as well is sincerity. Being a leader is called being in the people business. For example, I never want anyone who serves in my children’s ministry to feel like they are just a warm body to me. First of all do you know how hard it is to find workers, then you know I definitely want to keep all I have, but honestly I have no ministry without them. They truly are the hands and feet of the ministry. So I want them to know I genuinely concerned about them, their family, and their class.
The last point is being a peacemaker. Do we promote peace and try to bring oneness to those around us, or do we continually stir the pot? Please do not mistake peacemaking for weakness. There will always be times to take a bold stand, but there will be many times that a soft word will detour an emotional hurricane.
I ask you today are your leadership skills; whether it is in your family, your job, your church, your social group, etc., matching up with God’s credentials? For ten years God and I have been hammering this out in my life. I am definitely not perfect, but amazed that He has brought me this far. I am constantly asking Him to improve me; and He constantly agrees if I am willing to be molded in the potter’s hand.
Here are a few inspiring quotes about leadership:
He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander. Aristotle
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King Jr
“Most people who want to get ahead do it backward. They think, 'I'll get a bigger job, then I'll learn how to be a leader.' But showing leadership skill is how you get the bigger job in the first place. Leadership isn't a position, it's a process.” John Maxwell
“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up.” John Maxwell
“A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves” Unknown
“A leader is not an administrator who loves to run others, but someone who carries water for his people so that they can get on with their jobs” Robert Townsend