Two Musts for Effective Leaders
Today’s reading: Joshua 16-18; Luke 5:1-16
8 So the men arose and went, and Joshua charged those who went to write the description of the land, saying, “Go up and down in the land and write a description and return to me. And I will cast lots for you here before the Lord in Shiloh.” Joshua 18:8
15 But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. 16 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. Luke 5:15-16
Both Jesus and Joshua model how effective leaders handle high stress situations and high maintenance people. There are two important guidelines here for effective leaders.
1. Effective leaders empower people to solve their own problems, as much as possible. Joshua gave the responsibility to the seven landless tribes to survey the territory, to write a description of the remaining land dividing it in seven portions, and to report back to him for allotments. Earlier, Joshua told the tribe of Joseph (Manasseh and Ephraim) to clear their land rather than asking for more territory.
2. Effective leaders take time for prayer even during high stress times. Jesus’ ministry was becoming more widely known and the crowds came with endless needs for healing and teaching. It was not a bad thing that they saw Jesus as the one who could both heal them and teach them, but there were limits to what one person, even Jesus, could do. Jesus modeled for us the need to take time alone in prayer.
In whatever leadership roles you fill, are you following these two guidelines as you face pressure and the expectations of others? A mother recently told me how much joy she is getting from seeing her young son assume more responsibility for getting himself ready for bed. In our church, we are empowering gifted people to teach Sunday school classes and they and the class members are being encouraged.
The biggest danger is the tendency to operate purely on human wisdom and to fail to take time alone for prayer. Evaluate your life today. Make the needed changes so that you handle high stress situations and high maintenance people in wise and godly ways.