Thursday, December 27, 2012

7 "musts" for aspiring young leaders: Top ten leadership posts in 2012

The Bible is a book full of descriptions about older-younger leadership transitions. Moses to Joshua. Elijah to Elisha. Paul to Timothy. And in I Samuel, Saul to David.

God was sovereign over all these transitions, of course. His plan was being accomplished. But from a human standpoint, only a few of the biblical transitions were purposeful. Most were unplanned. And messy.

(The good news is that biblical narrative is descriptive, not prescriptive. We can learn from the botched leadership transitions in the Bible. We are not doomed to make the same mistakes. By God's grace and for His glory, we can do better.)

Saul's transition to David was a mess - at least on Saul's side of the equation. He was completely unaware at first that God was grooming David to be the next leader.

In I Samuel 17, we see the army of Israel being taunted by Goliath. David shows up to bring some food to his brothers. He is horrified that God's glory was being compromised by the mockery of the Philistine and the unwillingness of the Israelis to shut him up. Saul was head and shoulders taller than anyone else yet he, too, was afraid to take on the giant. So, David, the the unknown, upcoming leader, volunteers to do for Israel what no one else would do.

As you read through a few selected verses in I Samuel 17, see if you can spot some "musts" - indispensable qualities - for young aspiring leader.

Here are the seven "musts" for young aspiring leaders. 

Younger leaders must...

1. ... have the guts to take on the challenges that older leaders don't take on or won't take on. "And Saul said to David, 'You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.'"

2. ... fight against Goliaths not for their own glory, but for the glory of God and the protection of the people. "
This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand... that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hand."

3. ... trust solely in the Lord to overcome the odds against them. "Then David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head.'"

4. ... leverage past experiences for future victories."And David said, 'The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.' And Saul said to David, 'Go, and the LORD be with you!'"

5. ... refuse to wear someone else's armor to the battle. "Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, 'I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.' So David put them off." 

6. ... use the unique tools God has placed in their hands. "Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd's pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine."
7. ... inspire others to join the battle and rout God's enemies. "When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines..."

Questions: What is the Goliath that God wants you to defeat? Which of these musts do you need to apply the most? Will you trust God and step up to the responsibility? Will you fight the good fight in a unique way? Will you give God the glory when He uses you to defeat that Goliath?

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