Sunday, August 23, 2009

Encouraging Leadership

“Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come upon you from your youth till now.” (2 Samuel 19:7)

David was mourning the death of his son Absalom, even though Absalom tried to kill him and was himself killed by David’s men. In his grief, David neglected those who had defended his life. Joab, one of the kings commanders, rebuked the king and told him to go and encourage those who had faithfully served him.

It is easy in ministry to be distracted by the pressures and difficulties of ministry and neglect those who faithfully serve under your leadership. Despite what I may be feeling or experiencing I must not neglect the 'troops'. If I want people to follow I must encourage those I lead, despite the circumstances.

Key Principles
  1. It is easy in leadership to be distracted by the pressures and difficulties of life
  2. We must not neglect our leadership responsibilities when life gets tough (cost of leadership)
  3. If we want people to follow, we must encourage those we lead, despite the circumstances

Honourable Leadership

“The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” (1 Samuel 24:6 )

While being pursued by King Saul, David finds refuge in a cave where he has opportunity to kill Saul. Instead, David shows honour to the king, God’s anointed, and spares his life.

I am challenged by the way in which I respond to my leaders whom I believe have wronged me or have not supported me as I feel they ought. Despite their faults, they too are God's anointed and I need to honour them just as I would like to be honoured by those whom I lead when I fail to meet their expectations.

Key Principles

  1. How do we respond to leaders who have wronged us?
  2. Despite their faults, they are God’s anointed
  3. Failed expectations and human faults do not excuse us from honouring those in authority

Philanthropic Leadership

“All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader.” (1 Samuel 22:2)

David escapes from the pursuit of Saul. Although he is still on the run and very much in danger, his presence draws the distressed and discontented to him and he becomes their leader.

Even before becoming king, David displays strong leadership. I am captured by who David leads and I am reminded of who God has called me to lead. I too have been "anointed to preach good news to the proclaim freedom fo r the release the oppressed." (Luke 4:18-19)

Key Principles

  1. Even before becoming king, David displays strong leadership
  2. The people attracted by David is a reminder of whom we are called to serve in The Salvation Army
  3. We are “anointed to preach good news to the poor…to proclaim freedom for the prisoners…to release the oppressed.” (Luke 4:18-19)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Successful Leadership

“In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him.” (1 Samuel 18:14)

After David’s defeat of Goliath he gained great fame in Israel and the affection of Saul’s son Jonathon. Saul was jealous of David’s success and failed in his attempts to bring him down. The Lord’s presence was clearly with David bringing him success in all he did.

The Lord is teaching me much about leadership from the book of Samuel. A humble spirit and obedient heart before the Almighty God will bring success in ministry. While the Lord is with me and I walk in His ways, I will successfully lead His people.

Key Principles
  1. A humble spirit and obedient heart are essential ingredients for success
  2. Walk in His ways and you will lead successfully
  3. Dare not lead in your own strength and wisdom
  4. Celebrate the successes of your team

Courageous Leadership

“You have come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied…All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45-47)

The Israelites were frightened by the giant Goliath and were therefore hindered from battle with the Philistines because of their fear. David, a young man, rose up from among the Israelites confronting the giant, killing him, allowing the Israelites victory over the Philistines.

We are continually engaged in a spiritual battle where we are confronted with 'giants' that seem insurmountable. God has called for courageous leaders to take up the armour of God and overcome evil in His power and strength.

Key Principles
  1. We are often confronted with ‘giants’ that seem insurmountable
  2. God has called for courageous leaders to step forward, despite our fears
  3. God has given us His armour and power to overcome our ‘giants’

Obedient Leadership

"Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice..." (1 Samuel 15:22)

God told Saul, through Samuel, to go and totally destroy the Amalekites. Saul however only did part of the job, withholding the best of the spoils of battle and capturing the king, thus disobeying God's instructions. He tries to justify his actions to Samuel.

God requires total obedience to His Word in my leadership. Even when His instructions seem undesirable, or when confronted by fear, insecurity or other enticements; "I am to obey the voice of the Lord."

Key Principles
  1. God requires total obedience to His Word (not conditional)
  2. Even when His instructions seem undesirable, or confronted with fears and insecurities, or other enticements
  3. Obedience requires a foundation of trust – God knows what He is doing

Loyal Follow-ship

""Do all that you have in mind", his armour-bearer said, "Go ahead, I am with you heart and soul."" (1 Samuel 14:7)

Jonathan decides to make a surprise attack on the Philistines without his father's knowledge. His armour-bearer supports him, despite the odds, fully united to his cause.

We are engaged in a spiritual war where we will often have to take on the enemy. Jonathan's armour-bearer demonstrated the sort of loyal follow-ship, united under a shared vision and cause, that I pray will become evident in our church.

Key Principles
  1. We are engaged in a spiritual war! The enemy is real.
  2. The ability to follow precedes the ability to lead
  3. People will follow a God-honouring, compelling vision