Being a Good Model

Leadership, as a concept, is easy to accept, but in practice is difficult to maintain.

From Scripture, David is a leader who embodies the practices of modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling others to act, and encouraging the heart. A great passage of scripture emphasizing these characteristics of leadership is found in 1 Samuel 20. Here in this passage we find David’s relationship strained with Saul which in essence is challenging a process. Saul was the anointed king of Israel who had not followed God’s commands. David was to be the successor, not Saul’s son. But, within that tension, there is a great friendship with Jonathan, Saul’s son that speaks of a shared vision and enabling others to act. 1 Samuel 20:16 NIV says, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account.” Jonathan is accepting the enemies of David as his own. In accepting David’s leadership, Jonathan is participating in that vision. David has modeled the way in his leadership through his faithfulness to Jonathan even considering the tension within the family.

It is sometimes easy to know what to do, but to have the courage to follow through with it is the mark of a leader.

Finally, the encouragement of the heart is found in 1 Samuel 20:41-42. Here we find David and Jonathan acknowledging that they were going to be separated but that they still remained friends and family. A telling fact in this last exchange is the phrase, “but David wept the most.” (1 Samuel 16:41b). As the leader, David knew how difficult this was going to be and wanted to offer as much encouragement to strengthen Jonathan throughout the friendship. Then, David left. He had to leave. For the sake of their friendship, for the sake of his future, David knew that he could not remain and would have to carry on. Once again, we find David making the “hard choice” and modeling it for his friend.

It is sometimes easy to know what to do, but to have the courage to follow through with it is the mark of a leader. As a leader, I have often found it difficult to lead people during difficult times because of the cost that I knew would come. This part of the reading has encouraged me to take the time for the encouragement, the sharing, the enabling. Personally, I jump very quickly into the modeling and challenging and I do not often take time for the complete process.

Bibliography

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2004) Christian Reflections on the Leadership Challenge. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Facebook Christian or Twitter Christian?

Before I start, huge props out to my friend, Rob Reardon, at http://rob-reardon.blogspot.com for the inspiration!

 Are you a Facebook Christian or a Twitter Christian?  Are you a friend of God or do you follow Him?

I have a lot of friends on Facebook.  Once you accept someone as friend, they see what you are doing and you see what they are doing.  Twitter is  a little different.  I follow people who do not follow me.  This means I can see what they post, but they do not see what I am posting.

I always seem to think of things in terms of music.  “I Am a Friend of God”  by Israel Houghton says, “I am a friend of God.  He calls me friend.”  One of the truest pleasures for Christians is that we have a friend in the Almighty.  John 15:4 (NLT) says, “You are my friends if you do what I command.”  We can be God’s friend and enjoy all of the advantages of that close relationship.  From the other side, S. Sundar Singh writes, “I have decided to follow Jesus.”  While friendship with God is amazing, growth and transformation come from following Him.  “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.'”  This verse found in Matthew 16:24 shows us that following Jesus will not be easy or without sacrifice, but the rewards are amazing.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to be a friend of God!  But…Christians must ultimately be a follower of God!