Are you trying to be a self-made leader? (73-5)
Becoming a leader is not a quick, simple process. It may be possible to become a self-made leader but that would be rare by any standard and impossible for a Christian. If the Spirit of God is not in control of leading and directing a Christian leader, they may develop skills but those skills bring glory to themselves not to God. Most highly successful, effective Christian leaders receive input not only from the Spirit of God but also from another leader that invests in them. Joshua is a tremendous example of such a leader. Read Numbers 27:15-23.
This portion of scripture is right at the end of Moses life when he was publicly passing the mantle of leadership to Joshua. There are excellent leadership lessons for both the mentor and the person receiving the mentoring in these few verses:
- Joshua was empowered and given authority (v. 20). Joshua received positive public recognition and his mentor demonstrated his approval and acceptance of his leadership.
- Joshua was given public confirmation (vs. 21-22). His apprenticeship had not been passive but had involved hands on experience. Joshua had been a tribal leader appointed to spy out the land, he had been a military leader and he had been a personal assistant to Moses.
- The final act of commissioning was meant to encourage and affirm Joshua (v. 23). The demonstration of placing his hands on Joshua before the people fulfilled God’s demands of Moses but would serve as a lifelong encouragement and confirmation to Joshua.
Investing in another is hard work. Both Joshua and Moses made the investment. If Joshua had chosen a poor mentor, we may not even know his name today. If Moses had chosen a man without potential, God would have had to raise another as he did Moses rather than from the ranks of the Hebrews that left Egypt.
What are some basics for leadership mentors and those receiving mentoring?
- When looking for someone you will invest time in to mentor, look for the following traits:
- They must have the right attitude and be willing to learn.
- Good candidates should have demonstrated signs of courage and a willingness to obey God and their mentor.
- They should be a person of character with the ability to become their own person rather than a clone of their mentor.
- They must have some capacity for vision beyond the leader’s vision.
- They should have demonstrated persistence to complete tasks and a solid work ethic.
- When choosing a mentor look for the following traits:
- Look for a leader that has a demonstrated dedication to live by godly principles and who has godly character.
- Choose a leader with a positive attitude and enough patience to guide without demanding immediate perfection.
- Look for a leader that has demonstrated the ability to give direction and a willingness to share tools and resources.
- Look for a leader willing to give honest feedback on progress and a willingness to confront when necessary.
- Choose a leader that is willing to give meaningful assignments delegating both responsibility and authority.
- Look for the demonstrated ability to encourage and the demonstrated desire to form genuine relationship.
Where do you stand with both mentoring and being a mentor? At virtually every leadership level we need both.
Proverbs 16:21 “The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction.”
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