It is in the heart of many of us to lead. There is something inside of us that longs to help people move forward. If our motivations are right and this is not just for selfish gain or human recognition, it is usually a desire that is placed there by none other than God Himself because God longs for His people to progress.
And, God does not leave us without examples. He wants us to lead—in our homes, our churches, our businesses, our communities—more than we want to lead and has promised to give us everything we need. In fact, the most vital aspect of leadership is to have HIM with us and He has provided a way through His Spirit’s indwelling for that to occur.
One of the great, conquering leaders in the Bible was Joshua. Moses led them out, Joshua led them in to the Promised Land. Each had their unique leadership qualities for the task assigned. Notice some of Joshua’s leadership qualities:
How long will you put off entering to take possession of the land, which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?
The people were dragging their feet on finishing the job of dividing the land. It reminds us that people need to be led. Leaders understand this and don’t mind the responsibility of helping people get from one point to the next. Good leaders lead the people all the way to completion if possible. They help people experience the value and satisfaction of reaching the goal.
Provide for yourselves three men from each tribe that I may send them… (Joshua 18:4)
Joshua sized up the situation and came up with a plan. Good leaders understand the absolute necessity of clear, workable systems in place to take people forward. Others may not see this (or value it) but a leader does. He sees the problem, develops a solution and a good system to accomplish the goal, and then does what is necessary to start and lead the people through the process.
Joshua said to the people, “…from ancient times…”
Everyone forgets. Good leaders are redundant. People may get tired of it but it is absolutely necessary to remind people that they were nothing and God saved them. They need to remember that without Him they’re in bondage, and that He is the deliverer. They need the past to help them interpret the present properly. A good leader always reminds the people through the vehicle of the past of who they are and who God is and how they must relate to Him.
Fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth. And put away the gods your fathers served on the other side of the river… (Joshua 24:14)
Leaders are not afraid to call people up, to challenge them to higher steps and standards. He knows that without such exhortations and goals they will settle. People may not like this and some may not follow, but a good leader does not let the fear of man deter from fulfilling his calling to move people forward.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
You cannot lead people where you haven’t gone. Good leaders don’t point the way, they lead the way by personal example. The most compelling challenge is a leader who is experiencing the value of the steps they’ve already taken and invites others to join.