Summary: God is our perfect Leader, and He is doing all that He can to train us to take on positions of leadership in His church.
The Perfect Leader
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
By Pastor Jim May
There is no one that I would rather follow than the Lord Jesus Christ. I have been led by a lot of people throughout my life; some in the military, some in the job market and some in the church. Some have been good leaders and some have been not so good, but none could match the perfect leadership of Jesus.
I remember one Colonel that led our unit in Vietnam who was probably the worst leader that I ever had. He literally went off the deep end. He forced us to stand at attention while rockets were incoming just a few hundred yards away. He stood us in the hot sun for hours waiting on him to get ready to give us a speech and when the speech came all he is did was tell us that the only way to truly know that any Vietnamese was an enemy was that he would have his right sleeve rolled up to his elbow. If both sleeves were down or if both were rolled up, he was a friend. I don’t know if any of those guys ever had a long sleeve to roll either way. It was always hot were we were stationed in the Mekong Delta, far too hot to worry about sleeves. He might have been a leader, but no one cared to follow him.
I’ve had some good leaders on the job and in the business world. They did their best and taught me a lot, but they could never give me every answer because they didn’t know the answer themselves. They could only lead as far as they had learned to follow to that point in time.
Thank God that He is the perfect leader. God has all knowledge, infinite wisdom and a full understanding of who and what we are, so he knows how to lead us in the right paths.
There are many scriptures that show us the kind of leadership that Jesus has but one of my favorite passages concerning his leadership can be found in the 23rd Psalms.
Psalms 23:1-6, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."
The world is filled with two types of people, leaders and followers. We all begin as followers, and in one sense of the word, we never cease to be followers, especially of Christ. But there comes a time when we are called upon to be the leader that God wants us to be. You may lead your family; you might lead people on the job; you might just lead a class, or God may even call you to lead a ministry, but regardless of where you are called to lead, you are still a leader.
If you are going to lead, then it stands to reason that you would want to become the best leader you can be, and of course that can only be attained by following the example of the greatest leader of them all.
What are the qualities that make for a good leader?
We can find one clue in the story of God’s leadership as He led the Children of Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land.
Deuteronomy 8:2, "And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no."
A good leader knows that he cannot teach or lead others without taking them through some hard times. There is always a lot of change that has to happen as people grow and become what God wants them to be.
There is a testing and proving time that must come. In the church, we are led by God into times of testing and trials. These are not times that we are tempted to sin, but times when we are put into a position that we must trust God even when we don’t know what He is doing.
When we went into the military, there was a time of testing and trials that we had to go through. First we had to be broken down to learn to humble our will before the will of the commanders. We couldn’t be just individuals anymore. We had to learn to act like a time; kind of like the old motto of the Three Musketeers, “One for all and all for one”. That’s the only way to survive in a combat situation, every man watching out for every other man. No one can win the battle alone.