Leading During Disruption
Pastor Jake Claunch
Eagle Heights Church, Tennessee
David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, "Arise and let us flee, or shall we not escape from Absalom." 2 Samuel 15:14
Recently I have spent much time reflecting on this moment of time in the life of King David. As we all know, David endured many trials and disruptions throughout his life. Some of them were brought on by his own bad choices, and some of them were just part of living life and dealing with the pressures of being a leader. At the present time, many pastors and leaders all over this nation are in a position we have never been in before, much like King David in this moment of biblical history. Although he had experienced times of running and fleeing for his life, he had never had to do it in this manner. This was entirely a new level of disruption and difficulty.
One of the things I appreciate most about King David's leadership during this time is his choice to remain (1) solid, (2) steady, (3) calm, and (4) humble while (5) pointing to God as his source. I have reminded myself of these qualities many times during this disruptive time, and I believe these 5 attributes are some of the greatest tools any leader can possess and use, especially during a time of crisis. It is essential for those we lead to see us be the same person in the storm as we are in the calm. As we read through this moment in David's life, we observe him remaining calm and collected while at the same time using great wisdom in being very strategic with his decision making and actions.
One of the things that David did that jumps off the page of Scripture to me can be found in 2 Samuel 15:25-26, Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place. But if He says thus: ‘I have no delight in you,’ Here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.”
One of David's greatest strategic decisions was simple, yet very wise, as he requested that Zadok the high priest who was also a prophet (seer) go back and bring the literal presence of God back into the city. Even though conventional wisdom would have said David needed to bring the ark with him, he understood that God could fight a battle there in Jerusalem that he was incapable of fighting himself. By leaving the ark in Jerusalem, he was literally communicating to God that he had completely surrendered his kingdom and fate over to God's sovereign purpose, even in a time of unknowing (which was what his predecessor, King Saul, failed to do).
Although we pastors preach and teach this all the time, I think this passage is a good reminder that at the end of the day, our ministries belong to God. We are simply the caretakers and growers of the local flock He has entrusted to us. And they are looking for us to not be panicked by the storms, but to remain solid, steady, calm, and humble—always pointing to the glory of God and His ability to see us through any moment of disruption that may come our way. If we stay focused on these simple truths, God will restore, renew, and revitalize our vision for a greater ministry than we had before and even more than we ever thought possible, in Jesus' name! I'm praying for you, my brothers and sisters. We can do this, because God's got this.