AGCC Sun. a.m. 9/22/2002
"DYNAMICS OF LEADERSHIP"
TEXT: I Sam. 16:1-13; II Sam. 2:1-7; 5:1-4
INTRO:There is nothing like being a leader, and there is nothing like leading as a Pastor. It is often a job filled with "good news - bad news"
ILLUS:GOOD NEWS: Your church's new recovery group is well attended.
BAD NEWS: Your spouse and kids are in it.
GOOD NEWS: People have caught the vision for church growth.
BAD NEWS: Now they ask why it's not happening.
GOOD NEWS: The new donated computer is loaded with all the latest technological advances...
BAD NEWS: ... for 1983.
GOOD NEWS: Your youth Pastor is finally getting kids to attend church.
BAD NEWS: They're going to the church down the street.
GOOD NEWS: The Women's Association voted to send you a get-well card.
BAD NEWS: It passed 31 to 30.
GOOD NEWS: The church board accepted your job description the way you wrote it.
BAD NEWS: They also formed a search committee to find someone capable of filling the position.
GOOD NEWS: Mrs. Jones is wild about your sermons.
BAD NEWS: Mrs. Jones is also wild about "The Gong Show" and "Texas Chain Saw Massacre."
GOOD NEWS: Seventy junior high students showed up last Thursday.
BAD NEWS: The meeting was on Wednesday.
-- James Berkley and Kevin A. Miller, Leadership, Vol. 15, no. 4.
-- James D. Berkley, Leadership, Vol. 3, no. 3.
Leadership is a great challenge. The world today is filled with followers and few real leaders. Too much leadership today is based on surveys, opinion polls, political correctness, popularity, etc., but what we really need are leaders who are gifted and guided by God's Word and Spirit.
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that leadership is a call from God, not the opinion or call of man. Those called are prepared by God for leadership, recognized as leaders by others, and proved as leaders by their character and legacy.
I. THE CALLING (David Anointed King, Without Rule!) I Sam. 16:1-13
A. Transitions 16:1-5
1. King Saul's leadership was in trouble, Israel needed a new leader.
a. God always has a plan, and always has a man/woman.
b. Though king Saul is still alive, God wants Samuel to identify the next leader, notice Samuel's words here, "How long will you mourn for Saul, …" it was time to look forward and not backwards for leadership.
2. Ministry requires godly leadership, Saul had abandoned spiritual truth and God had withdrawn His Spirit from Saul, so Samuel is encouraged by God to move forward in selecting the next king.
3. This was a dangerous thing to do with King Saul still alive.
a. It was a tough day for both Israel and Samuel!
b. There are sometimes bad days when you are called to lead!
ILLUS:You know it's a bad day when:
... You finally remember the name of that person you promised to visit in the hospital -- while reading the obituaries.
... In the pulpit you notice your sermon notes this week are for last week's sermon.
... The youth pastor urgently asks you about the church's liability insurance.
... Your church treasurer sends you a post card from Geneva.
... You are informed that the youth group used steel wool sponges for their car wash.
... The couple you married a year ago calls to ask about a warranty.
... You are elected Pastor Emeritus -- and you're only twenty-eight.
...You get assigned to nursery duty -- during the morning service.
... You preach the same sermon for the second week -- and nobody notices.
-- James D. Berkley, Leadership, Vol. 4, no. 1.
-- Bruce Hoppe, Dwight Dally, Dave Maurer, Ron Saari in Leadership, Vol. 9, no. 2.
4. Samuel was embarking on a tough assignment, but it was necessary to have godly leadership, God always has a man/woman to do His work.
5. Samuel has to go a bit undercover for this assignment, but he realized that his own call to leadership as a prophet included tough assignments as well as good ones.
ILLUS:There are three things in ministry you need to know. Number one, it's never as good as it seems. Number two, it's never as bad as it seems. And number three, the greatest myth of all is that you can fix it. It never gets fixed. -- Truman Dollar's advice to Ed Dobson, Preaching Today.
6. It was time!
B. Traits 16:6-13
1. Interestingly enough, even godly Samuel was fooled into looking at the outward appearance for the next leader … God had told him the next king was a son of Jesse of Bethlehem, and there are only 8 sons to look at.
a. The first son goes by Samuel; he LOOKS like a leader, strong and tall … LIKE SAUL whom God had now rejected!
b. Why Samuel didn't realize his own error of mistaking outward appearance as the obvious sense of kingship after the ruddy, tall, and strong Saul had been rejected is amazing!
2. They had already tried the outward appearance method, it had failed!
3. God was looking on the heart, not the flesh.
4. It is too easy to choose leadership based on appearance, the world does it all the time … we need to know a man's character before we judge by his clothing.
a. Everything isn't always the way it looks, looks can be deceiving!
ILLUS:I've always loved the story of the cowboy who was riding along and came upon an Indian lying flat on the ground with his ear pressed to the earth. The Indian said, "Wait. Wagon. Two miles off. Drawn by two horses. One black. The other gray. Four people on board: man in a red flannel shirt, his wife, and two kids."
The cowboy was very impressed. He said, "It's amazing you can tell all that just by listening to the earth."
The Indian said, "No. They ran over me thirty minutes ago. Go after them!" -- Bruce Thielemann, "Because," Preaching Today, Tape No. 105.
b. Be careful how you evaluate leaders, look at what's inside and not just outside.
5. All of Jesse's sons flunked the test of leadership as far as God was concerned, though they were warriors and strong outwardly …
a. Later they were found in Israel's army, but they were unwilling to go and fight Goliath.
b. God was looking for something else … a real shepherd!
c. Jesse had one more son not present, the youngest, a simple shepherd!
6. The traits of the shepherd are what God wanted for leadership over His people … hence the development of a Pastor being called a shepherd today.
a. Shepherds would die to protect a lamb or sheep.
b. Shepherds fed and watered the flock daily.
c. Shepherds led out front the flock.
d. Shepherds loved each sheep, naming them each with their own name.
e. Shepherds carefully developed the animals for breeding purposes, to produce more sheep, and healthy sheep.
f. IT WAS NOT A JOB; it was a calling, a way of life! (It still is!)
7. David is finally anointed by Samuel, God's choice, not man's!
a. Yet, David has no rule … except over self!! - this is where leadership begins!
b. He may have been anointed king but he was still a boy … God laid His hand on David because He saw this young man's potential, his traits, but David has no kingdom yet.
II. THE CHALLENGE (David Anointed King, Partial Rule!) II Sam. 2:1-7
A. Timing 2:1-3
1. Years now have passed by and King Saul has finally died.
a. The kingdom however is not united, but David is publicly anointed King of Judah.
b. David does not presume to lead the entire nation, he is willing to lead those who were willing to follow at this time, which was his own tribe.
(1. This is an important principle of leadership development, you can't lead others later if you don't demonstrate the ability to lead others now.
(2. Leadership begins in smaller ways first.
2. He is willing to act like a king, but he allows God to decide on the timing of his full rule over all Israel.
a. What does he do in the meantime? He faithfully serves where he is at.
b. Real leaders don't need "positions" to lead; they simply serve even if they don't have a "title."
c. David accepted the rule over one tribe for now and fought for ALL Israel anyway.
3. David trusted God's timing for ruling the whole kingdom … his concern was serving well even if it only meant over one tribe for now.
a. There is a biblical principle here about leadership … being faithful in little leads to being trusted with much later.
b. We need to serve well in small ways before expecting to be trusted to lead well in larger contexts.
B. Teamwork 2:4-7
1. Notice that when David had a chance to speak badly about the former King he instead chose to thank those who had buried the former king Saul.
a. He showed honor for the previous king, though the previous king had tried to kill him on several occasions!!!
b. David was concerned to preserve the office of the king, they would all need to work together to defeat their enemies, they couldn't afford to make an enemy of each other!
c. This is still good advice for the church today!
2. David kept his focus on working together … good leaders always do this.
ILLUS:A boss creates fear; a leader creates confidence. Bossism creates resentment; leadership breeds enthusiasm. A boss says, "I"; a leader says, "We." A boss fixes blame; a leader fixes mistakes. A boss knows how; a leader shows how. Bossism makes work drudgery; leadership makes work interesting. A boss relies on authority; a leader relies on cooperation. A boss drives; a leader leads. -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 312.
3. Though David's rule was limited his service and attitude were not!
4. David didn't wait to minister and serve until after he had full title as King of Israel, he fought hard, worked hard, served well, long before any title had come.
5. This consistency in David's life to be a servant at all stages of authority is what earmarked him for leadership in God's book.
a. Past behavior is the greatest predictor of future success!
b. We would do well to look for leaders today that have proven track records of servant-like attitude and actions … this is biblical!
c. Paul told a young pastor by the name of Timothy these words: 2 Tim 2:2 "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others." (Emphasis mine)
III. THE CERTIFICATION (David Anointed King, Complete Rule!) II Sam. 5:1-5
A. Trustworthy 5:1-2
1. All Israel now comes together and recognizes David's past contributions to the entire nation's wellbeing.
a. David's past was catching up with him … what about yours? It always does you know, and when our past is proven service it leads to proven leadership.
b. In the past when Saul was king it was David who fought many of the battles, he served the king, now it was time for David to be king over the entire nation!
2. David's proven record led to his rule as king over all Israel.
3. David was the same no matter what position he held, he was a king before he had a kingdom … his heart was for all Israel and for the God of Israel.
ILLUS:An English one-liner that has always amused me is: "A gentleman is one who uses the butter knife when he is alone." In other words, it's what someone does when no one's watching that indicates the true person. -- J. I. Packer in Your Father Loves You. Christianity Today, Vol. 31, no. 3.
4. The Lord had said that David would be a shepherd, not the people … but the people did recognize it and affirm it later. (See 5:2b)
B. Theocracy 5:3-5
1. David now is placed over all Israel … yet he constantly seeks God for direction … while he is a king of a country he knows that God is THE KING OF THE CITIZENS.
a. Godly leadership doesn't set self up, even if you have a title only God should get the glory, it is His!
b. David did not rule Israel by having them fall in love with him, he led Israel by having them fall in love with God!
2. He was content to think of himself as a shepherd instead of a lord.
a. God was more important than his own life … Israel was more important than his own life … he proved both of these when he was willing as a young man to stand against Goliath.
b. Leadership is born from our behavior before it is bequeathed in our biography!
3. David's rule was to make God King, not self. All good leaders of the Church today do the same!
a. Jesus rules, not man.
b. It is critical that leaders strive to draw people to Christ and not to their own needs.
4. David was honored by the Lord because David honored the Lord. This is the reward of dynamic leadership.
CONCLUSION: Leadership is often misunderstood. Many people think that they can be a leader simply because they want to be, but true leadership is a gift and calling of God. Those called are prepared and developed by the Lord, then recognized by man in time, and their leadership established by the actual performance and legacy of their character. Godly leadership is a blessing, and is a gift from God to move forward His people for His causes.