Exodus 3:10-4:14; Amos 7:10-17; 2 Chronicles 16:9a; Ezekiel 22:30
Leadership is influence. To the extent we influence others, we lead them.
If I were asked to name some of the standard qualities or characteristics usually found among natural-born leaders, I would list:
Sense of Humour Creativity
None can deny that these are standard qualities found in “natural” leaders. But my question is: Are these qualities necessary in “spiritual” leaders, too? Before you answer too quickly, I would refer you to some biblical leaders who would’ve done rather poorly on a “natural” leadership test. The incredible thing is that God picked people whom we would have overlooked!
How about withdrawn, insecure, fearful, doubting Moses? (Read Exodus 3:10-4:14.) Or the uncultured, negative, ill-prepared, unwanted, dogmatic, clumsy fig-picker Amos? (Get acquainted with him in Amos 7:10-17.) And we dare not forget impulsive, short-sighted, boastful Peter, who frequently suffered from foot-in-mouth disease!
I am not suggesting these men did not have any natural traits of leadership—but rather that they broke the mould of what we generally classify as “a model leader.” God’s remnant of leaders is often a ragged lot…frequently made up of fresh-thinking, non-conforming, even weird-looking characters who desperately love the Lord Jesus Christ and are remarkably available to Him and His will. These people (and you may be one!) possess the basic ingredients of faith, vision, teachability, determination, and love—and they are involved in changing the world.
When I read that God is searching this planet for men and women (please stop and read 2 Chronicles 16:9a and Ezekiel 22:30), I do not find that He has a structured, well-defined frame into which they must fit. In fact, some of those God used most effectively were made up of the strangest mixture you could imagine. If you doubt this, check out that rough gang of 400 indebted, unorganized malcontents that surrounded David in the cave of Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1-2). I find myself extraordinarily challenged to trace these men through the balance of David’s life and discover that these became his elite, courageous band of fighting men—heroes, if you please—from whom a number of leaders emerged.
I believe you anticipate my point. Let’s be as open and flexible and tolerant as God is! Perhaps you don’t fit the mould. Maybe you don’t embrace the party-line system, so you’re beginning to think “I’m not useful to God—I’ll never be a leader in the ranks of Christianity.” Take heart, discouraged believer! I rather suspect that others of you are about to write off your maverick kids. Listen, they may be right on target. God may have a distinct, unique role of leadership just for that youngster of yours. Hang in there, parents! These young people may look and sound strange to some adults…but I’m not about to sigh and ask why. For all we know, God is on the verge of doing something great through their leadership.
Let me assure you—if all adults had written off a young, repulsive, aggressive, strong-willed teenager 30 years ago…the devotion you’re reading today would have never existed.
Excerpted from Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life, Copyright 1983, 1994, 2007 by Charles R. Swindoll Inc. (Zondervan Publishing House). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by Permission.
About the Author:
Chuck Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God’s Word. Active as the senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Texas, Chuck’s trademark humour, integrity, and authenticity have made him one of this century’s most beloved and trusted preachers. His international radio program Insight for Living has aired for more than 35 years. Want Chuck Swindoll’s insights delivered to your inbox seven days a week? Claim your free subscription to Insight for Today.