Summary: Leadership basics following a famous leader
First United Methodist Church
May 7, 2000
Rev. Monte Wike, Pastor
“CALL TO COURAGE”
A Look at Leadership #1
GREATER TEXT: Joshua 1: 1-18
TEXT: Joshua 1: 6-7, “Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.”
I. LEADERSHIP BASICS
A. FOLLOWING A FAMOUS LEADER
Deuteronomy 34: 9-12 into Joshua 1: 1-2, “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses. And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel.”
Joshua 1:1-2, “Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.”
Leadership is first and foremost a God-given quality. Some people realize it, some do not. Some have a special awareness that the call to leadership is a call to serve God in a special way. Some believe that they trained themselves to be leaders, and that God had nothing to do with it. God’s choice of leadership in the Bible is an interesting study because of the variety of types, methods and results.
One of the real challenges of any leader, but especially of Joshua, was to fill the shoes of a famous and highly successful master-sergeant-type of leader, the mighty Moses. He was a leader, pusher, judge, personal spokesman for God, one who insisted the people follow God’s plan and therefore, his. Joshua did not try to be Moses. He had his own style of leadership. What he was certain of, was that God had called him to lead the people into the land of Canaan, something Moses in his greatness had failed to do. God does not call duplicates, He calls leaders to do individual things. The succession in leadership does not mean a repeat of what was, but a challenge anew to what can be. One leader does not exhaust the possibilities and potential of being a leader. The next in line can always add to, modify, go on to branched-out achievements, be a real leader in his own strengths.
Joshua as a young man was one of the twelve spies sent to the Promised Land when the children of Israel had first come out of Egypt. He and Caleb were the only two of twelve who brought back a positive report that the land could be taken in spite of the giants which possessed it.
The people rebelled, and were sentenced to 38 more years of wandering in the wilderness. The doubting generation died off and the new generation would be challenged to take the land from the huge inhabitants. One of the clues to the greatness of Joshua as a leader was the fact that he was ready to do what God commanded. He did not flinch or complain that he was not worthy or capable to follow in Moses’ footsteps. He rightly assumed that if God were calling, God was leading, and God was equipping.
“Call to Courage”, p. 2
B. FOLLOWING THE RULE BOOK
Joshua 1: 7-8, “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
A good leader is a good follower. He is trained in leadership by obeying commands of his superiors and former leaders. He remains a leader by his dedication to and observance of the rules of his group that he leads. A maverick leader who considers only his own desires and does not know how to follow the rules and precepts set by others, will always be a loner. A leader is expected to be innovative, but within the rules and goals set by other authorities.