Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why Do We Lead?

We are reading through the book of Numbers right now in our Garden to City Bible reading challenge, and I'm really impressed with the leadership of Moses. I guess that sounds silly. Any of us who got our Vacation Bible School ribbons would be impressed with Moses-- the staff to snake and back again trick, the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and the smashing of the Ten Commandment tablets. But I'm impressed today with something different...

At least four times in the book of Numbers, we read that the people of God were angry with Moses and Aaron. On more than one occasion, the Israelites stood outside their tents and wailed and cried all night. How quickly they forgot the blessings and provision of God and the skillful and care-filled leadership of Moses.

Bottom line-- Moses' approval ratings were pretty much in the tank for his entire life. Zero. How did he lead like that for forty years?

I'm blessed with amazing small group leaders who regularly encourage me. Every now and then I'll get a random gift card in the mail from an appreciative NCCer. But Moses? He never got to go to Ruth's Chris on the dime of an Israelite in the desert. He never received an email letting him know how much his leadership meant. He just led disgruntled, complaining men who regularly wailed in front of their tents all night, kicking and screaming to go back to Egypt where they at least got free food. Forty years. How did he do it? Why did he do it?

The answers to those questions must be the reasons that motivate me, as well. I want to lead with the humility of Moses, the obedience of Moses, and the proximity to God that Moses experienced.


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