Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Leader with a Purpose: Biblical Leadership

Hi, hope you are enjoying my post on the Biblical perspective of leadership? In my last post I began with integrity as a trait of a good leader with emphasis on Samuel’s speech to his people.
(1Samuel 12:1-8)
Today, I would like to share with you other common traits of great leaders, culled from the book, The Bible on Leadership. It is often said that, show me a leader without a goal and I would show you a man with a boat and nowhere to go.One outstanding trait of great leaders is purpose. A leader with a purpose does not only accomplish much but sets the fire in others to carry on. Purposeful leaders are not self centered, people are his priority, their needs are his needs, and he sells his hopes and aspirations with his followers and goes the extra mile to put smiles on their faces. Unfortunately in our society today, we just have positional leadership who obviously lack clear sense of where they are heading the flocks to. When a leader is dedicated to a purpose, and when the entire ‘troops’ see that dedication is unwavering and ‘‘for real,’ great things happen.
I remember, some years ago, my local church was struggling to complete its building, past Church leaders failed to accomplish this task until we had a great leader whose single purpose was to finish the completion of the church building before the end of his administration as a resident minister. He was so committed to the project that in six months, the job was done. How come? The members identified with the vision of the leader and when they did, great things happened.
King David, faced with the daunting task of the construction of a temple, handed it over to his son Solomon, who admittedly lacked experience in the construction business. But David had also given himself wholeheartedly to this project: ‘‘With all my resources have I provided for the temple . . . gold for the gold work, silver for the silver . . . bronze . . . iron . . . onyx . . . stones of various colors. Besides I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple . . . Now who is going to consecrate himself today to the Lord?’’ (1 Chron. 29:2–5)
What David really meant was, ‘‘Who is going to buy into my vision and join hands with me” Like King David, every leader should have a  purpose road map so that in their absence competent successors can carry on with all uncompleted projects. Is it the same in our churches and even our nation? One Government fails to complete a project and the successor doesn’t see it as their priority, they begin chatting their own course. Church leaders and administrators come into office with their own agenda and vision, leaving the formers works untouched till they are true with their plans. Should this be the situation?
Great leaders with great purposes always face obstacles and opposition. Consider Nehemiah rebuilding process when he heard Jerusalem was in ruin. The colonial officials in Jerusalem ridiculed and opposed Nehemiah’s efforts to rebuild the wall. Tobiah the Ammonite chortled, ‘‘what they are building—if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones.’’ And Sanballat the Horonite chimed in, ‘‘what are those feeble Jews doing? . . . Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble— burned as they are?’’
(Neh. 4:2–3). One key indicator of a purposeful leader is the challenge and opposition you would face in trying to implement something of significance.
This just goes to show you that if your purpose is good and worthwhile, you will probably have some vocal opponents.