Follow The Leader

Posted: November 15, 2012 in QT's
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“The boss may not always be right, but he’s always the boss!” Like it or not, it’s a true statement. We all work (or have worked) for somebody else. Even if you’re the guy on top you answer to somebody. Generally, the guy on top answers to a group of somebodies, whether it be a board, or customers, or whatever. It’s also true that we won’t always agree with the boss, and we may even be right, but he (or she) is still the boss. The boss will have to make difficult decisions sometimes, decisions that won’t necessarily be popular, understood, or even well received. My point is, they are his to make. This is a principle that’s true for anyone in leadership.

It should also be understood that being a leader is not necessarily the same as being a boss. I’m speaking primarily of being a leader in the church because that’s the world I live in. The principle still applies. The difference is the bottom line. In a business the bottom line is profit and loss. In a church the bottom line is ministry. In Ephesians 4 we are told that it’s the pastor/teacher’s job to equip the saints (Christians/church members) to do the work of the ministry. Church is about the glory of God. It’s about God working in and through His people. Either way, difficult decisions will have to be made.

I have had the opportunity to think about these things as I’ve been taking a look at the life of one of the most successful leaders the world has ever seen, a guy by the name of Moses. Moses was God’s chosen man to lead His people, Israel, out of slavery in Egypt and into God’s promises. There is certainly more about this remarkable man than I could write about in a few paragraphs so let me just point to one episode in his life and ministry.

In Exodus 32 we read about Moses going up on Mt. Sinai (the mountain of God) and receiving the Ten Commandments. While he was there God revealed to him that the people had already turned away and were worshiping a false idol. God was angry and said that He would wipe them out and start over with Moses. Moses responds by pouring his heart out to God in prayer on behalf of the people. The Bible says that God changed his course of action because of Moses’ prayer. That in itself is pretty amazing but listen to what happened next. Moses went down the mountain, broke the tablets the Ten Commandments were written on in the presence of the people, made them grind the golden idol into dust and drink it, then commanded those who would stand with God to strap on their swords and go through the camp killing their own brothers, friends, and neighbors. The Bible says that 3000 people fell by the sword that day. Now there’s no doubt that these were unrepentant people, the ring leaders of the rebellion. After this was done Moses went back up the mountain and once again poured his heart out to God on behalf of the people, even offering to share in their punishment (even though he was innocent).

There are two things I would like to point out. The first is that Moses loved God’s people very deeply. It’s evident by the way he interceded for them in prayer, twice! The other is that Moses was passionate about God. Moses made a very difficult decision when he came down the mountain. Think about what took place at his command. There were no doubt long lasting consequences that Moses had to deal with as the leader of people who lost family and friends in this encounter. It would have been easier for Moses just to tell them not to do it again but he knew that if he didn’t act swiftly and decisively his problems would be worse. Those who were unrepentant and rebellious would have led all of God’s people astray. That was a risk that Moses couldn’t take. Moses understood what he had to do, and he did it. He didn’t poll the people. He didn’t call for a meeting. He didn’t ask everyone else what he should do. He just did what needed to be done. Remember, if it wasn’t for Moses, God Himself would have killed everybody in His holy wrath (read it for yourself). At the end of the day Moses had to answer to God for his leadership. He was God’s man. He had to be God’s man above all else and he needed the people to know he was God’s man and would do whatever was necessary to lead them to be God’s people.

Leaders, pastors, in God’s church may not always be right but they are the men that God has called to lead His church. This carries a burden of responsibility with it that can’t be fully understood by most people. It’s a burden of knowing that he is ultimately responsible to God for every decision he makes. You may not always agree with your pastors but please understand, they’re still your pastors. They’re God’s men and they have a great responsibility to Him first and foremost. I think most pastors take this responsibility very seriously and that they make decisions, even and especially difficult ones, based on two things; their love for the church and their passion for God. Let me encourage you to love, pray for, and support your pastors. I know from experience how encouraging that can be.

In Christ, Paul

  1. Benny Thompson says:

    Right on Bro. Paul!

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