Leadership Lessons from Judges, pt3
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Today we will continue our look at leadership lessons from the book of Judges.
When the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed and afflicted them. But it came about when the judge died, that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them and bow down to them; they did not abandon their practices or their stubborn ways.
Esteeming the Mantle of Leadership
There are many good leaders who understand, in a humble and graceful way, that God has graced them with certain gifts and abilities. Having said that, though, throughout my history of ministry and my business experiences, I’ve seen a number of gifted leaders complain when people did not just automatically do what they needed to do when they had no leader.
The influence of a leader is critical to something happening. If our leadership paradigm is that people should just do the right thing, that is a wrong mentality. Obviously, people should have self-government, especially when it comes to morals in their life, but they still need leadership.
God has set leadership in our families, churches, businesses, communities, military, civil government. In every aspect of human endeavor, those that function well do so with headship. Good people will do the wrong thing without good leadership because God has set leadership in every institution that He ordains. We have to embrace that as leaders. We need to not only embrace leadership tactics, but embrace the leadership mantle.
Our voice is needed. Our model is needed. Our wisdom is needed. Our anointing is needed. Whatever we are bringing to the table is needed. But that doesn’t mean that the people we are leading have to be severely dependent on that. It does mean that corporately we need to keep leading. There is never a time where we are resting and expecting good things to happen. That would be like a quarterback going into the huddle and saying, “I’ve been calling plays all game long, and I don’t think I should call anymore plays. We have been practicing, we’ve been on the team a couple of years, and we know the plays. Let’s just go out there and see what happens.” What happens is that they will lose the game. The quarterback calls the plays to execute the other gifts and talents of that team. That’s the attitude we need to have.
In Judges, we have seen a pattern of God raising up leaders without much of a backstory or discipleship. Gideon is a great example of this. He was hiding in the winepress, his father wasn’t a great spiritual leader, but God sovereignly raised him up.
Today we have many good leaders who were not discipled well. How can this be when most of us come from a discipleship paradigm? Because you can believe in something and not do it. There are people who believe in discipleship who don’t do it. Often the people who don’t do it are the very people who were raised up without being systematically discipled themselves. In the back of their mind their thinking is that the Lord did it. You can’t disciple the gift into someone, but you can disciple the gift out of someone. You can coach that gift out of them. What we need to understand is that there are many people who have done an admirable job leading because of the grace of God in their life, but they will tell you that they are spiritual orphans because they were never properly discipled or fathered/mothered. It is important to understand that talking about and advocating discipleship is one thing, but actually doing it is another thing. We tend to think that placing a value on something is doing it, but that isn’t always the case.
Really strong leaders can devalue their own influence by acknowledging discipleship but not doing it. Some of us leaders are in place because God divinely intervened, as opposed to being discipled, can mystify leadership. Yes, God moving in our lives is good, and I’m in that camp. But because of that, I value discipleship and I value my influence over valuing myself. The mark of a healthy leader is valuing their influence without overvaluing themselves, because they understand that it was God who did it.
Throughout the book of Judges, when the Israelites had judges, they did well, when they didn’t have judges, they didn’t do well. People are in need of leadership. Rather than expecting people to do what we think they ought to do without us, let’s thank God that He put us around them, and let’s use our influence to help them get to the place they need to be.
If you believe in discipleship, disciple someone.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!