Leadership Prayers

 

Praying ManSomeone once said that if there are tests in our schools, there will be prayer in our schools. Prayer, in my opinion is way more powerful in private, but can be an effective communication tool in public. I have always felt that the most effective public prayer warrior is one who privately prays regularly and often.

I believe that prayer is a powerful tool that the Lord has given us. Prayer calls upon the Lord to come help, come heal, come direct my journey. Sometimes I’m not sure what the next step in my journey looks like, the Lord can speak to that. At other times, I feel helpless to know what to say or do – the Lord can direct my words and my activities. Paul challenges Timothy regarding prayer – we should lift our leaders in prayer constantly. Check this out…

1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-3 CSB)

I must confess that there are some elected officials that I didn’t vote for, but they were chosen as our leaders. I can pray for them, even if I disagree with some of their policy decisions or core beliefs. I figured out a long time ago that I simply don’t know everything, nor does anyone else. I need to give those in leadership some room to navigate through the challenges and decisions before them. Now this doesn’t mean that I should stand by and watch them make bad decisions without me speaking up or speaking into a decision that’s before them. If I’m praying for them, it becomes harder for me to attack them on a personal basis. I can disagree with passion, but I should still show respect to those in leadership over me. (This is often easier said than done.) When leaders act immature or they misbehave, it is hard to respect them and the position they hold.

I will continue to pray for the leadership of our nation, state & local government. I will pray for wisdom and discernment to saturate their thinking. I will encourage them and be available to help them anyway I can. The Lord calls me to serve like this. There are benefits for me as well – “to lead a tranquil & quiets life in all godliness and dignity”.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Leaders Don’t Need Titles

 

Leadership Tools Skill Management Experience TrainingI’ve had the privilege of serving under some incredible leaders over the years. I have learned much about their lives and where their heart is by the way they lead. I believe that we have all kinds of unnoticed leaders in our culture. We have elected leaders and self-appointed leaders, but sometimes it’s hard to follow a leader who seems to lead without certain characteristics.

Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate each day watching the activities there. I believe he was there because his niece, Esther, whom he had raised as his own daughter, was now Queen Esther. He just wanted to be close by. He overheard a plot to assassinate the king and he reported it. He also helped encourage Esther to speak up for her people. He exhibited leadership qualities that caught the eye of the king when Haman’s wickedness was discovered. Check this out…

1King Xerxes imposed tribute throughout the empire, to its distant shores. 2 And all his acts of power and might, together with a full account of the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king had promoted, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Media and Persia? 3 Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews. (Esther 10:1-3 NIV)

I noticed some important character traits about Mordecai’s leadership that was valuable:

Humility – doesn’t think more highly of himself than he ought.

Consistent – he was dependable and faithful to his post.

Wisdom – he was knowledgeable in the things of God as well as Persia.

Courage – he led from within his faith – the Lord gave him great courage.

Memory – he never forgot who he was and what he was there for.

Work Ethic – He worked for the good of all his people.

Loyal – he was loyal to King Xerxes who gave him his position.

I don’t like to follow leaders who don’t lead with most of these character traits. I do believe the Lord calls me to honor our leaders and respect them. He does not call me to blindly follow them when their leadership conflicts with His Word. I believe that leaders should seek the wisdom that only the Lord can give to lead and serve the people entrusted to their care. Mordecai was acting like a leader long before he was given a title and a position.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Leader of All Leaders

 

Lead By ExampleThere are times when a leader steps up and has many strong characteristics such as deep wisdom and clarity of insight to lead others. Sometimes these types of leaders are not famous or known by many – they just lead from where they are. I do notice leaders like this when my path crosses theirs. Sometimes people don’t set out to be leaders, but it’s in them and it comes out. Some celebrities are leaders, but it’s mostly because of their success. I do remember sir Charles Barkley in his younger days as a NBA star saying that he didn’t want to be a leader, but he really didn’t have a choice. The spotlight on leaders is sometimes blinding to them, especially if they were not prepared for it. I believe good leaders are built and it takes some time.

Solomon was a leader who was built over time. He watched his Dad, King David lead Israel. Solomon probably learned the history of his Mom and David’s connection and the pain, struggle and fall out from David’s sin. He also saw how his Dad recovered from that failure. I see Solomon was a leader of leaders. The Queen of Sheba visited him at the height of his success. She had heard of him, but wanted to see for herself. Check this out…

5 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 6 But I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard. 7 How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 8 Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the Lord your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness.”

22 King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. 23 All the kings of the earth sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. (2 Chronicles 9:5-8; 22-23 NIV)

I really love studying the success of Solomon because all the glory goes to God. His wisdom and wealth came from the Lord. I really hated that his leadership turned to self-centered serving. He chose women of other cultures over following the Lord. He was led away from God by his own choice.

It’s another case, where even the greatest leaders must be followers. Great leaders can’t make their leadership about themselves. Great leaders must be aware of who they are leading and where they are leading too. I think it’s tragic when leaders loose sign of their call and the position that they’ve been entrusted with. This happens quite often in the world of politics. Great leaders with the best of intentions become corrupted & deceived by the perceived power that they hold. Leadership is a delicate skill that can’t be traded and bought like a commodity. I believe great leaders are followers of God first. If they are a leader, they were a follower first and they must not forget that.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

 

Birth Order

 

Family tree, relatives, people silhouettesI grew up as the eldest son of my family. There were three sons and three daughters born to my parents. The first daughter was stillborn. I have a sister older than me. There were situations that arose all the time where it was great being up at the top of the birth order because we got to go first. There were times when I really wanted to go last. My older sis and I ended up being the de-facto leaders among our siblings.

The Lord gave instructions to the leaders of Israel about how to camp around the tent of meeting (aka Tabernacle). He put the leaders of the families in four sections to surround the four sides of the tent. Check this out….

1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 2 ‘The Israelites are to camp round the tent of meeting some distance from it, each of them under their standard and holding the banners of their family.’ (Numbers 2:1-2 NIV)

As I read through the rest of the text in chapter two I noticed that the Lord actually didn’t use birth order to line up the Israelites. I’m not sure of His criteria, but He actually chose a lead family and added two of the tribes to that so that North, South, East & West were covered. The tent of meeting was surrounded. Joseph who was sold in to slavery and later saved his family from famine actually had two sons and they were counted as two of the sons of Israel. The Levite family were not counted or treated as a regular family group as they were responsible for the spiritual leadership of the tent of meeting. They were responsible for setting it up and tearing it down when they traveled. The Levite family was also responsible for sacrifices and the day-to-day spiritual leadership serving the priests.

I know that birth order is significant in some family and less important in others. I realized that birth order in God’s family is totally different. For example, I know people who have been Christ followers for years but they look and act like spiritual babies. Quite frankly they wear the name Christian, but are not in actual daily pursuit of God’s heart. I do believe it’s a choice that they made to remain a “baby”. The Word speaks of believers starting out on the “milk of the word” and then advancing to the “meat of the word”. (Hebrews 5:11-14) I remember as a student pastor this was actually very noticeable as some of the older students in my minister were more spiritually strong than people who had been in church for years. Serving in church is not synonymous with spiritual growth. It seems like churches make leaders from the people who’ve been there the longest with little concern over spiritual depth. I believe that God looks at birth order way different. He knows the heart of a person. He knows if their heart is good or bad. Behavior usually reveals the heart, but not always. Some do the right thing for the wrong reasons.

God’s birth order is based largely on the obedience found deep in my heart. He is also not about power and authority as much as He is about serving in humility. His birth order is quite different than a regular family birth order. I’m not going to worry about who’s first in the family; I just want to be obedient when He calls me to action.

Pressing On!

Dwayne