The Joshua Leader: Empowering Our Leaders

And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.” Joshua 1:16-18 ESV

I don’t know what your experience has been with leaders, but many people have been wounded by their leaders, whether at home, at church, at work, or wherever it might be. Some of you may cringe over this passage because of your experiences, thinking that such devotion to your leaders is only setting yourself up for being hurt and abused again. Others of you may actually be leaders, wishing for a response like this from those God has entrusted to you!

The simple truth is this: it’s not about you or your leader. It’s about God. What is His vision? Where is He wanting to take his people? God wants us to join together as a team to accomplish these things. But many times our selfishness gets in the way.

In today’s world, we value leaders with charisma. We think that with enough energy, we can motivate people to action. However, I’d like to call that into question, because I think it undermines a basic principle of leadership.

Reread the passage. Can you hear the raw energy from the followers? That’s how we should be towards our leaders. We are attracted to charisma because it gives us a sense of momentum, but the truth is, we ourselves hold the momentum.

I would like to suggest to you that leadership has just as much to do with those of us in the crowd, and that leadership is God’s gift to us to keep us from wasting our energy. Ask yourself this: if you had a crowd with as much momentum and energy as expressed in this passage, what would happen if it were all let loose? It would be purposeless at best, destructive at worst.

Enter the leaders. It is their job to hear the heart of God, to channel and focus the energy of the crowd, and to take care of distractions that slow us down. The leaders, in a sense, do absolutely nothing. They simply provide the things necessary for the crowd to fulfill God’s vision and call.

Think of it like a car: steering + moving = driving.

The crowd is the forward motion, the momentum. But to drive a car, you need something more–you need steering. On the other hand, if you have no motion, you can have the best steering in the world and still get nowhere.

This is easy to see in the context of marriage. When men don’t steer, women either grab the wheel or stop supplying power to the engine. Alternatively, men might be prepared to go places, but the woman is so scared that she might grab the wheel that she applies little power, and with no momentum the man goes nowhere. This leaves marriages stranded, undirected and powerless. Without the momentum and power, direction is meaningless. Without direction, momentum and power are meaningless. Together, the possibilities are wide open.

Here’s where it gets practical. God has placed you under someone’s authority. I challenge you first of all to actively pray that God would be with your leaders as they seek God’s direction. With that, I challenge you to be that power or force or momentum for your leader, not taking over the steering, but helping to supply that raw power to the engine.

There you have a few of my under-developed thoughts. I’d love to hear your thoughts from you!

All for Christ and His bride…

One comment

  1. Wow, amen and amen! As a church leader, I’d say you are right on! May God give His Bride an understanding of these concepts. You know it never has worked to have five people turning the same steering wheel…it’s for our own good to energetically help provide the forward motion, and trust God to steer us through our leaders. Yeah, we could give some “balance” to that, but now isn’t the time…

    Keep up the stimulating writing!

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