“Leaders are merchants of hope”, said Napoleon. They know of a better place, a better way of life, and as they go there they inspire others to follow and make this hope a reality. Biblically this is true. And our world is in dire need of more such leaders! But where will they come from?
Says Leanard Sweet: “Leaders are neither born nor made. They are summoned. They are called into existence by circumstances. Those that rise to the occasion are leaders.”[i]
This 13-Week Leadership Growth Series aimed to develop and prepare leaders to lead with certainty and skillfulness from the heart. The posts will help you grow to become the type of leader that inspire others to realize these hopes. Look at this introductory video which gives scope to the Leadership Growth Series.
Below is the outline of our 13-week program. In the introduction we give context to our discussion on leadership by asking: what is the nature of leadership? Then we delve into the core characteristics of leadership within our church context – fist studying it, then considering how to grow in it. After that we consider the compulsion (the go-get-it attitude) required for strong, confident leadership. After this we will look at three different sets of competencies (or skills) required in Christian leadership: facilitation and hosting, confrontation and care, then participation and activation within the wider community. Lastly we consider the charismaor gifts God graces us with, and how to grow in it.
Do you recognize any area where you think you can grow as leader? Then click on the link to see the introductory video and do the devotional study.
70 He also chose David His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds;
71 From following the ewes that had young He brought him, to shepherd Jacob His people, tnd Israel His inheritance.
72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
Observation and reflection comments
Context: Psalm 78 is a lengthy poem/song answering the question: “Why do people not obey God, when he is so good to them?” It tells history of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, preservation in the dessert, inheriting their Promised Land. Yet in spite of God’s goodness, faithfulness and powerful miracles, they still do not serve Him faithfully. It ends in the sad falling away of Ephraim (Samaria, 720 BC) and how God chose David (and his lineage) to lead and reform Israel.
David was a very successful king. What do we learn of David’s leadership from this Text:
Distinguish between “integrity of heart” and “skillfulness of hands” – what does it mean, and what does it look like in practice?
David was called and anointed by God [v70] for a specific mandate [v71b] and had a godly character [v72a] (yet not without flaws!). Why would he need skills to lead Israel even though he had conviction, anointing and a godly character? What does skill do for a leader?
From this text, where do you think David acquired skills to lead the nation? [Hint: v71]
Personal reflection and application
David was appointed and empowered by God’s Spirit, had a godly character (yet not without flaws!), but he could accomplish so much during one lifetime because of skills he acquired while shepherding sheep and leading the band of outlawed mercenaries who became his army of mighty men. Competence increases your leadership capacity.
Review your past responsibilities as leader focusing on your competencies.
Which leadership/ management skills have you definitely grown in which makes you a better leader now? Think about the five most significant skills and jot down how you have grown in it.
Consider your leadership responsibilities. What can you accomplish if you had better leadership skills? What do leaders with great skills accomplish in your circumstances?
Which two skills, if you could perfect them, would make the biggest difference to your leadership influence?
How will you grow in it? [Hint: consider PERSON / PLACE / PRACTICE – where/ from whom can you learn, and where can you practice these skills?]
Quickly memorize this proverb: “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.” (Ecclesiastes 10:10)
Throughout the day keep this in mind in all your activities, asking yourself “what skills can increase my capacity”?
Pray for grace to redeem your time and to grow in skills so that you may be faithful with what has been entrusted to you! Ask that the Lord will help you find a person to coach you in these skills and opportunity to practice it.