As I’m learning as a young leader, I’m noticing the more I do it, the more I realize how hard leading is. Â I’ve written before that when you lead a person, family, church, or organization TO something, you’re leading them away from something else. Â More often than not, the push back on the leader is similar to Moses when he led the children of Israel out of Egypt. Â They were begging to be brought back to slavery, criticizing Moses’s leadership, and lost sight of the destination. Â It was hard going for all parties involved.
A book I’ve been reading lately re-told the story of Joshua and Caleb. Â The perspective is different and I found it refreshing from a leadership perspective. Â It revolved around pride.
Giants, Or Giant Opportunity?
Remember the story? Â Twelve were sent to spy out the promised land. Â Ten of the twelve came back and did the responsible thing. Â They told the people how there would be no way they could take the land. Â There were giants, strong armies and skilled warriors with more powerful weapons. Â Yes it was beautiful. Â Yes it did flow with milk and honey. Â But there was just no way they could take this land – even if God did tell them they could. Â They needed to be more realistic about the situation and think logically about their families, limitations, and “what-ifs”. Â It just didn’t make sense to them. Â Caleb and Joshua came back with a different story. Â They said, “Wait a minute! Â God told us we could take this land! Â We need to go now!” Â Joshua and Caleb were branded as egotistical and irresponsible. Â The other ten were branded as wise and humble leaders who had the best interests of the group at heart. Â One group thought – led with their head. Â The other group obeyed – led with their heart.
The ten’s rationalistic approach was really lack of faith and pride in their own knowledge. Â Sounding familiar yet? Â Then God lays the smack down by saying:
“How long will these people treat me with contempt and refuse to believe?” Numbers 14:11
Ten or Two
As a leader, I have to be able to lead into uncharted territory – beyond what they thought possible or safe. Â That’s another post all together. Â As a leader, I have to be able to look at the territory and believe we can take the land – lead with my heart connected to the Father. Â As a follower of Jesus, I wonder if I’ve gotten into the pattern of rationalizing the movement and promptings of the Holy Spirit. Â Leading exclusively with my head. Â There has to be a balance and it needs to be leaning more toward a heart connected to the Father’s heart. Â What about you? Â If you were to honestly check your heart, how many times would you be in the ten or in the two? Â If we were all honest, most of us would probably say the ten.
Leaders are the two – they are the Joshua and Caleb who can see beyond what’s safe, reasonable, and sensible to break into new territory.
Everyone agreed and sided with the ten. Â And it cost them. Â Sometimes we need to listen to the two to enter into a promised land. Â But it won’t happen if we play it safe.
Who Do You Listen To?
Spend some time evaluating the voices you listen to. Â Who is challenging you to take risks, move forward, and break into new territory? Â If nobody is, you may want to re-read this story and see where you are. Â If you’re a leader, don’t be afraid to stand up and announce with faith the direction you need to lead. Â We need more of Joshua and Caleb and less of what’s sensible and safe. Â Don’t be afraid to lead with the heart and not the head.