Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good Leaders Delegate

Strong leadership is crucial to good management. The larger the group, the more team leaders are needed. Micro-management, with one leader making all the decisions, diminishes effectiveness. Moses leads an estimated 2 million people from Egypt (Exodus 12:37). Because all the Israelites look to Moses as their leader, Moses realizes this enormous burden; he needs help and cannot make all the decisions alone. Moses must delegate some of the responsibilities to remain an effective leader.

Read Deuteronomy 1:9-18

. . . And may the LORD, the God of your ancestors, multiply you a thousand times more and bless you as He promised! But how can I settle all your quarrels and problems by myself? Choose some men from each tribe who have wisdom, understanding, and a good reputation, and I will appoint them as your leaders. . .
So I took the wise and respected men you had selected from your tribes and appointed them to serve as judges and officials over you. Some were responsible for a thousand people, some for a hundred, some for fifty, and some for ten. . . You [judges] must be perfectly fair at all times . . . When you make decisions, never favor those who are rich; be fair to lowly and great alike. . . (Deuteronomy 1:11-17 NLT)

These verses recognize the need for leaders, describe the qualities of a leader and explain how the leaders are chosen. Characteristics of good leaders require wisdom, understanding, and a good reputation. Leaders must listen to the concerns of the people and render fair judgements, not favoring wealth or status.

Henri Nouwen writes this about Christian Leadership today:
Christian leaders cannot simply be persons who have well-informed opinions about the burning issues of our time. Their leadership must be rooted in the permanent, intimate relationship with the incarnate Word, Jesus, and . . . find there the source for their words, advice, and guidance.

Nouwen directs the Christian leader to learn to listen again and again to the voice of love, saying this is where to find the wisdom and courage to lead.

Consider this!
  • What characteristics of leadership did Moses demonstrate?
  • Is God calling you to take a leadership role?
  • What is your weakest area of leadership?

LORD, You are all Wisdom! Teach me to listen again and again to the voice of love, to listen You, the Love Most High. When called to lead, let me be rooted in Jesus. Amen. ~dho

[Henri Nouwen; In the Name of Jesus, Reflections on Christian Leadership, p.45]

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