Monday, July 16, 2007

How Not To Choose A Leader

One of the most important tasks facing a church is the right choice of leadership. The right choices can reap unbelievable results for the glory of God. The wrong choices can result in unthinkable disaster. Why is it important to choose the right leaders? Dr. Lee Robertson was famous for this statement; "Because everything rises and falls on leadership." Let's read the story of Samuel anointing David the King of Israel.

1 Sam. 16:1-13 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD. And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee. And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

Every leader should try to develop the qualities listed below in themselves, but the presence of these qualities alone do not guarantee that one is qualified to be a leader;
  1. Not by appearence only - First appearences are often wrong. Leaders should be encouraged to look like leaders, but just because someone looks like a leader does not mean that they can or should be a leader.
  2. Not by availability only - David's brothers were conveniently available to be anointed King while David willingly served as a shepherd.
  3. Not by willingness only - David's brothers were more than ready to take the job. A lot of people desire a title, but few want the responsibility that goes with it!!!
  4. Not by experience only - Former leaders may not always be the best choice. There is probably a reason why they are not current leaders.
  5. Not by imitation only - We often look for a leader who acts or looks like some other leader we have known in the past.
  6. Not by association or accreditation only - We must be careful of choosing a leader simply because of where he went to school or by who he knows. Titles and credentials do not make a man a leader.
  7. Not by popularity only - Just because someone is well known does not necessarily make them a good leader.
  8. Not because of necessity only - Sometimes we elect leaders because we need someone to fill a need now!!! People who are elected because of needs often allow the position to go to their head.
  9. Not by default only - Good leaders are seldom drafted by chance.
  10. Not by who we can afford only - There are times when we must hire help. When that time comes, we must guard against allowing money to make our choice for us.
  11. Not by turn only - The selection of leaders should not be based upon whose turn it is.
  12. Not necessarily by majority opinion only - The world chooses its leaders by majority rule; but the majority vote is no guarantee that the right choice is being made.



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