When it comes to modern church culture, there’s a lot of focus on leadership. And as someone who is gifted as a leader, has been around amazing leaders, has attended leadership trainings and conferences, and has a heart to develop and grow my leadership, I think this is a good thing.
So, the rest of what I write in this post is simply a thought that’s cropped up in my mind lately.
The thought is this: The Biblical leaders (who we study today to learn how to be better leaders) all seemed to be people who were insecure, unqualified, overlooked, unprepared, and sometimes totally against being the leader God was calling them to be.
A few that come to my mind include:
- Moses argued with excuse after excuse against God calling him to lead His people out of Egypt until God got angry and promised to have Aaron speak for Moses. He was a murderer, then shepherd and yet went on to demonstrate God’s miraculous power, lead God’s people to freedom, see God face-to-face, write the Torah, and a lot more.
- David wasn’t even considered by his father and brothers to be anointed by Samuel for Israel’s king until Samuel made a point to ask. He was the youngest and (by worldly standards) weakest of his family, chosen and anointed by God to become Israel’s greatest king, defeat Goliath, have incredibly victory in war, and be a man after God’s own heart.
- Paul was a former Pharisee who’s life goal was to catch and persecute Christians.
- Jesus’ Disciples were men who had ‘failed’ to become worthy of following a Rabbi and, therefore, went back to the occupation of their families. Jesus hand-picked them and they are now the founding members of the Christian faith.
- Peter was stubborn, emotional, and reckless but Jesus called him the cornerstone of the Church.
- Esther was beautiful and shy yet bold and humble as God used her in ways she might not have understood the magnitude of.
- Gideon was hiding as a farmer when an angel appeared before him and called him “mighty warrior.”
And all this makes me wonder if, in God’s Kingdom, strong leadership requires a certain sense of uncertainty, which makes way for humility while simultaneously forcing a total dependence on God.
I think things like the Catalyst Conference and TED talks and the Willow Creek Leadership Summit are absolutely amazing. I’ve been to them multiple times and always leave feeling encouraged, challenged, and grown as a leader. And like I said, stewarding the gifts God has given us is something I’m very passionate about.
But with so much talk nowadays about leadership and how to be a great leader, I can’t help but wonder if God sometimes desires something different. I know confidence is important and standing firm in who we believe God is and who He has made us to be. But the more I think about the leaders of the Bible, the more I wonder if more often than not, God would rather us learn more about how to humble ourselves more, so that He might become greater.
He must increase, but I must decrease. – John 3:30