Part 1. Our Leadership position is meant to influence others positively
After looking at the opposite of motivate, I saw the following verbs as true representation of most of characters notable among many Christians starting with many of us as leaders. These include and are not limited to discourage, check, dissuade, halt, hinder, prevent, repress, retard, stop, delay, dishearten, quiet, slow, depress, disconcert…If only we can search our hearts truly and speak out naturally, many of us would tore their clothes and repent in dust and ashes. If we stop and reflect back on how we have been leading the church of Christ, we would a lot of setbacks that we have much contributed to. Let’s start looking at what the Bible teaches about many problems that are born and grew from our leaderships. That’s the only way we can learn and change where we have been faulting.
The opening words in verse 2 of chapter 13 of the book of Numbers are direct from God Himself. “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, everyone a leader among them.” It was not Moses plan that the leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel spy the land before entering to possess. As leaders of the Christian Church today, our responsibility is to deliver what God wants to be done, empower and involve those among the congregations whom are gifted to serve God. At that time, Moses was the approved leader of Israelites in and deliverance and on their way to the Promised Land. ‘I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the LORD.’’ (Exodus 6:8). But he could not do everything by himself.
The children of Israel know all about Gods promises to Abraham their patriarch. They had seen how God had powerfully and tangibly delivered them from Egypt and led them toward Promised Land. They were about to enter and possess the Promised Land. God did not want them to enter into the land without being aware of what to expect. He ordered Moses to choose leaders among the 12 tribes of Israel, each leader from each tribe. Moses as the sole leader involved immediate leaders of the people. Therefore all the tribes were equally represented. One major problem facing our churches today is that of insecure leaders. An insecure leader is always reluctant to empower and involve those who he may think might be as good as himself or even better in some gifts. Moses was not afraid that the spies will know the entire praised better than him. He knew his call was to make sure that the children of Israel get into the Promised Land and not to make a name for himself. He was willing to share responsibilities with others who were gifted.
After going through the entire land in 40 days, they came back and the entire children of Israel Assembled to listen to their report. Ten of the spies gave bad report about the Promised Land, and started spreading the impossibility of possessing the land. One thing we need to know is that these ten spies were leader of their tribes. They were the best and acceptable leaders among their tribes. They were not cowards as such. But they wanted to remain in their comfort zone and not face the challenges of facing the inhabitants of the Promised Land. They were contented with free manna, but failed to see the reality of God’s promises and plans for their people. Some leader rarely see the big picture of God’s promises and plans for those they led as long as their ne3eds are met.
The 10 spies went to an extent of influencing the people to rebel against Moses and Aaron. God was not happy with them. Because of this, the children of Israel wondered in the wilderness for 40 years a day of wondering for each day they spied the land. The ten spies who brought evil report died of plague. With the knowledge that God had already declared they will not enter the Promised Land except the little ones who were below 20 years, they rose early in the morning to invade the land. They neither needed Moses or the Ark of the Covenant. They were driven back.
Our leadership position is to influence others positively. It’s the tendency of many Christian leaders to pull others down form experiencing God’s abundant life. Like the 10 spies who gave bad report, many leaders have influence capacity. But it matters how we use our influence. Our influence is to motivate those who have been put under our leadership and build them to be leaders. The tribal leaders had not only rebelled against Moses and Aaron, but also against God’s leadership and promises.
The ten spies were determined to kill the hope among their people and it was not the first time because earlier their rebellion was focused on going back to Egypt. How many times do we fail to motivate one another to do what God requires? How long have we been holding back the sheep in the fold as shepherds forgetting that Christ I the chief shepherded and we are answerable to Him? If our congregations are not effectively ministering to each member (not just Sunday) there is something wrong with the shepherds.
If the sheep remains in the fold, they get hungry, the strong ones starts attacking the weak, they make noise, some try to break away from the fold, they become dirty, because they are idle they start misbehaving. The congregations which are ineffectively empowering leaders and ministering to individuals members have all the characteristics of unfed sheep in the fold.
The difference between leaders is how we motivate others to fulfill God’s purpose in their lives. Many churches and ministries take long to grow because of lack of motivation. This stands as evidence of lack of trust to the faith and call that we have. We prove to those God has put under our leadership that we are better than others by instilling discouragement to do what seems to be impossible forgetting that it’s God who works in us and through us.
To be continued next week
By Psts. Andrew and Peninah Kariuki