Leaders need passion to succeed. When a leader is passionate it increases their willpower, changes them to a powerful force, makes the impossible possible and generates the energy to make the first steps toward achievement of their goals. Passion itself is neutral but a leader’s application of their passion generates results that are either positive or negative. Read 2 Samuel 13.
David’s son Absalom had passion. There was great potential for Absalom’s passion to make him a great leader in Israel; unfortunately he became a leader remembered in history only as a maverick. Absalom’s passion for justice led him to murder his half brother for raping his sister; his passion for results led him to burn his cousin Joab’s field to force Joab to get him an audience with his own father King David; his passion for fair application of the laws led him to sabotage his father’s leadership as king of Israel.
Effective leaders understand that when a leader fails, the preferred outcome is restoration, not destruction. The restoration process of a leader cannot succeed without careful attention to communication. Read again 2 Samuel 12.
The results Nathan achieved with David would never have been realized if Nathan had talked “to” or “at” David. Nathan succeeded because he communicated in an effective way, tailored specifically for his friend. The following are some elements of communication leaders can learn from the David-Nathan story:
Yesterday we looked at David’s choice to be a God-pleasing leader instead of a people-pleasing leader. Today we look at the actions of a people-pleaser. Read 2 Samuel 6:16 and 20-23.
Michal was King Saul’s daughter and as one of David’s wives, she had a fair amount of influence in the palace. She had grown up as royalty and was trained to be very image-conscious. When she saw David’s display dancing before God and the common people in his undergarments, she turned on David and ripped him for acting so unsophisticated. In verse 20 she states, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”
Why does God seem to so often choose unlikely leaders? Read Judges 7:16-25.
Gideon was only one of many who were living a normal life working or raising a family when God called them. Yes, they had some human traits that set them apart in some areas but nothing about them would have led even their family to believe that God would choose them to be His representative to lead His people.
Throughout the book of Judges, during the 200 years when Israel was without a central leader, God raised up a leader during their most intense moments of need. During the next days as we study the leadership traits of these leaders (Judges), there is one trait that each of them had in common. God always uses individuals who are servant leaders. Read Matthew 20:25-28.
A leader must never forget that God calls them to serve. If it is true that “…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” then every leader should see themselves as a servant leader.