Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 116 - Essential qualities of leadership: Executive ability, communication, prayer.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 116 - Essential qualities of leadership: Executive ability, communication, prayer.


Announcements / opening prayer:



"If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not … We are dealing with Fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about." [C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity]


F. Humility

G. Humor

H. Righteous Anger

I. Patience

J. Filled with the Spirit


Righteous anger without sin at injustice and evil that enslaves mankind.


EPH 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.


EPH 4:26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,


EPH 4:27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.


Faith reveals to us which is truth and right and which is lie and evil. Faith also applies the fact that it is evil itself that is the issue and not the people under its dominion. They can be saved from it as we have been, so on some level they are our brothers and we are to lay down our lives for them as our Lord did. Faith hates the evil and loves the sinner.


Patience: Victorious endurance and constancy under trial. Patience is not simply doing nothing.


Patience is the faith to wait for God's deliverance.


We have just completed the filling of the Holy Spirit as a characteristic of leadership. Appropriately it is the aspect of leadership to which we have devoted the most time and study.


K. Executive ability. In order to translate vision into action there must be organization, execution, and management.


It's one thing to have a good idea or a dream for a legitimate goal and it is another thing to execute it. The dream is easy. It is the execution that is the work. It may be difficult and exhausting, but empowered by the Spirit, the believer will not shy away from it.


Organization: the identification and order of the steps needed to accomplish an objective. Execution: the administration of the steps. Management: adaptability and improvisation when things don't go according to plan.


Since we are studying spiritual leadership (pastor, deacon, evangelist, head of a spiritual organization, Christian teacher in a seminary, husband, father, or mother) the means of execution is always under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit.


Certainly, there can be subtle dangers if the executive method and organization have too high a priority. Organization is no substitute for the working of the Holy Spirit, but that doesn't mean that we dispose of organization completely.


When a Christian leader is organizing, he must also delegate wisely.


No spiritual leader can do it all alone. Certainly, some leaders, like a single parent for example, may not have many opportunities for delegation, but in general there are those that God has provided to lift or bear the burden of leadership. A husband must delegate to his wife and not micromanage. A pastor must delegate to deacons and administrators. A leader should never have to micromanage since those he delegates to must be trustworthy. A man must consider this before he marries and a pastor must do the same before appointing others to positions in the local church. When bad decisions are made, as they inevitably will be, there will always be consequences that must be handled in grace and love. The new leader, early in the organization will find himself learning a lot from experiences and mistakes. Naturally, he would make most of his mistakes in the early going and not repeat them.


L. Communication. The spiritual leader must clearly communicate goals, objectives, and policy in such a way that there can be no doubt or confusion.


This reminds me of when I first became a school teacher and started writing my first tests. Only after the tests were administered and I was able to read the responses did I find badly worded test questions. One of the problems with a poor test question is the teacher doesn't think like the student. The teacher knows the answer heshe wants and can write a vague and confusing question.


Example: George Washington and his army crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night in 1776. How did he do it?

(In a boat? By not drowning or dying of frostbite? Very carefully?)


A spiritual leader must be very clear on what his goals and policies are. He must ask himself if there is any way that his subordinates could misconstrue what these are?


He must therefore think like the one receiving these instructions in order to determine if any confusion is possible.  


8. Prayer and leadership


By a strange paradox, many of us find it hard to pray. We do not naturally delight in drawing near to God. We find it easy to pay lip service to the delight and power of prayer, but when it comes to actually doing it on a consistent basis, we falter in finding something else to do. We know the scriptures call for it and we call it indispensible, but we often fail to pray when we should.


We cannot learn about the effectiveness of prayer except by praying.


There are several intellectual problems to prayer which have no concrete answers from the rational mind. The fact that God is infinite and outside of time and that He has always known all things and will give His highest and best to all who believe and the realization of that to all who love Him and that He has not overlooked anything in the details of time, etc. are not reasons not to pray when we are entreated over and over again to pray.


The intellectual problems associated with prayer evaporate when we experience the joy of answered prayer.


There are those who find it much more engaging to argue about the problems of prayer rather than just praying. Something similar to this is illustrated in the man born blind whom Christ healed.


JOH 9:1 And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.


JOH 9:2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?"


The disciples immediately want to debate the reasons by which the man was born blind. Some taught that sin equaled sickness and misfortune in general, which is true in certain cases, but obviously not always. The question for us is, is it important to know why the man was born blind? Jesus answers, "No." We see right away in this lively narrative the desire to debate the whys and hows rather than getting to the work of the commands of God.


JOH 9:3 Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.


JOH 9:4 "We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day [while Christ is on earth]; night is coming, when no man can work.


JOH 9:5 "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."