Similar to our education system, every leader will be asked to pass certain “tests” before there is a promotion to the next level. We have all been in situations where we were given a little to manage and as we proved we could handle the tasks, pressure, budget, timeline, manage the team, etc. we were given more responsibility. For the Christian leader, God provides tests as measures of progress in our character, our trust in Him and our willingness to serve out of love for Him and people. Read Genesis 22:1-18.
God called Abraham to climb Mount Moriah and sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. The very same miracle son he and Sarah had waited their whole lives for. God’s test to see if Abraham was qualified to become the father of the Hebrew people was to make Abraham choose between Him and his beloved son. Only after Abraham passed the test in his heart (and in his attitude) did God provide a replacement sacrifice and spare Isaac. Just a side note – Abraham’s trial foreshadowed what God intended to do with His one and only Son thousands of years later (the replacement sacrifice for each of us).
Abraham is still held in high esteem by Jews and Gentiles alike. His name seems synonymous with respect and leadership. At least one of the reasons Abraham still enjoys this position of respect is because Abraham followed through on his commitments. Genesis 12-22
Leaders look ahead to next month, next year, to three and five year plans, to the next decade or even the next generation and beyond. They tend not to be paralyzed by the “now” decisions because they understand how “now” decisions fit into the future. Read the story of Abraham in Genesis 12-25.
In Genesis chapter 12 when God told Abraham “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great…and peoples on the earth will be blessed through you” Abraham caught a vision and a hope for fathering a great nation; a vision for becoming a leader that would have an impact on his generation and those to follow him.
When defining leadership, many people have used the very succinct definition by J. Oswald Sanders where he simply states “Leadership is influence.” Every leader has a sphere of influence, people to whom their influence is direct and an extended sphere of influence where their influence is transferred through the next generation. According to Genesis 6:9 God chose Noah to be an influencer of an entire world starting over because “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time and he walked with God.” Read Genesis 6-11.
Just a glimpse at Noah’s sphere of influence comes when we understand a few facts about Noah’s life.
Throughout history, when delegating leadership responsibility, God has looked for individuals with specific character traits rather than certain skills or physical qualifications. Read Genesis 6:5-7:1.
Humankind had grown so evil that God pledged to destroy it and all living things on earth (6:7). But the Lord’s pronouncement of judgment did not come without hope; God chose Noah, a righteous man, a man whose everyday actions indicated that he lived out his belief in God, to take the lead to save a remnant.