Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours? (2 Chronicles 1:10)
Relate: Last night I was talking with someone who had just left a board meeting with a church that is in desperate need of a very real change. I am familiar with it and some of the difficulties they have been facing over the past few years. The meeting he was a part of was the first step in what will be a process that will revitalize and turn them around. The big trick is to not just come in and impose those changes but to figure out how to get them to take ownership of those changes so that they fully buy in to the healthier culture and can once again have an impact on their community.
This morning we carried that conversation talking about the potential for another person who could step in and in a sense meet them half way. We talked about the ways this individual would or would not be a good fit as someone to help them transition into what they could become. Later on I was sharing with someone some of my experiences with the church in Antep. This is a community that comes from dozens of different countries with services each Sunday in English, Turkish, and Arabic. We talked about how one of the biggest reasons the church in Turkey is so weak and grows so slowly is because they have adopted (or been imposed with) an American/European style of church that does not effectively reach their own culture. The challenge is to embrace the principles that all healthy churches need to have while adapting them to a culture that is so drastically different from the West.
React: Leadership. Everybody wants power, but very few have the ability or even the desire to be able to truly lead well. I just shared recently about Joshua and how overwhelming it must have been to step into the role of leading after Moses and I can just imagine that Solomon must have felt much the same stepping in for David. I mean… this is David we are talking about. Every single king following him is measured by if they followed God a lot (like David) a little (but not like David) or not at all (unlike David). Solomon knew that the only way he would be able to lead well would be if he had God’s help.
I think often most of our problem with regards to leadership is that we think we can do it. My sphere of influence, my level of responsibilities, and the person I am following are all much smaller than that of Joshua or Solomon. Because it is so much less I think I can handle it. I can do it. But no matter how many books I read, brains I pick, advisers I have, and podcasts I listen to (and these are all good, essential practices) I will never be able to lead well without God’s help. What about you? In what areas has given you authority or responsibility? Do you feel that you can manage on your own? Are you leading well?
I need you to lead well. Help me to stop relying on my own talents and gifts and strategies to do those things You have called me to do. As good as they might be, help me to not depend solely on the best and latest leadership strategies and styles. More than anything, I need Your help and Your wisdom to lead well those You have sent me to. They deserve my best and that is found when I follow Your plan and live out Your vision.