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.
In the last few weeks we have looked at two Judges who started strong and failed at the finish. Read Judges 6:11-8:32 & 14:1-16:27.
Two of the most famous judges were Gideon and Samson. Both men had a good start but finished poorly. It is not just these two leaders; two thirds of the biblical leaders finished poorly. My personal experience is this two thirds rate of leaders finishing poorly is still true today. Why do so few Christian leaders finish well:
Leaders will either develop self-discipline or lose their right to lead. Read Judges 16:1-20.
In The Maxwell Leadership Bible, Maxwell discusses “Self-Discipline, Samson Had It, Then Lost It”:
Discipline does not automatically make someone a leader, but no one can long remain a leader without it. More government leaders have failed from poor discipline than poor policies. More pastors have failed due to bad discipline than bad theology. More business leaders have sabotaged their careers from lack of discipline than by lack of cash flow.
Every leader needs to “self-evaluate” leadership strengths and weaknesses on a regular basis. A single unguarded weakness can destroy everything that a leader has built. Read Judges 13:3-5, 14:2, 14:6 & 19, and chapter 16.
Samson was special. Before he was even conceived, an angel of the Lord set the stage for his life. Samson was a Nazirite, one set apart for God. God had selected Samson to lead Israel against the Philistines, and his valiant, single-handed battles with Philistine troops attested to his personal bravery and the presence of God’s blessing on his life.
To build trust, a leader must exemplify three qualities: competence, connection and character. People will forgive an occasional mistake based on ability, especially if they can see that you’re still growing as a leader, but they won’t trust someone who slips in character. If a leader has an occasional lapse in character, it is lethal. No leader can break trust with their people and expect to keep influencing them. Trust makes leadership possible. Read Judges 13:24 – 16:31.
In The Maxwell Leadership Bible, Maxwell looks at Samson and the Law of Solid Ground.