It doesn't matter what type of group a person is leading. God's instructions are applicable whether a person is leading a classroom of students, leading a business, a ministry or a family. A God-ordained leader is essential in all of those situations. God always has goals planned for the group and He has godly purposes that He wants to see fulfilled. Each group mentioned should have goals to help them grow and mature. Left to their own way of thinking, each person would make their own determination of how that should happen. But God has the best plan. He communicates that plan to those who seek Him.
Generally, God appoints one person who He communicates with about the group. In the classroom it is the teacher. In a ministry fellowship it is the pastor. The Lord's desire is to communicate with all individuals personally. But His primary method of steering a group is through the spokesperson He chooses.
A well-known biblical character is Moses. His journey is one of the most fascinating in all of the Bible. He had the longest training period of anyone I have read about: 80 years! His first 40 years were spent as an Egyptian. He was actually a Hebrew but was raised as an Egyptian. Exodus 2:1-15 recounts this part of his life. God was preparing Moses those 40 years to become familiar with the Egyptian ways, thinking and beliefs. Moses was later called by God to deliver the Hebrews from Egyptian bondage. Moses had a clear understanding of who he was dealing with because he had been reared in the Egyptian culture. That was the first half of Moses' training.
The second half of Moses' 80 year training is recorded in Exodus 2:16-4:26. The same amount of time Moses spent learning the ways of the Egyptians, he had to spend learning the ways of God. This reveals two truths of Leadership Essentials:
1. The person leading has to know who they are working for.
2. The person leading has to know something about the opponent.
Knowing God is essential in leadership. Wisdom and instructions must come from Him. Raising a family is not easy. Without God's wisdom and grace to guide and cover, disaster will result. Parents and guardians need the help of the Lord to know what to do for each child. Every child is different. What worked for one may not be effective or beneficial for another. Only God knows every aspect of the family dynamic. He knows every member and what they need to succeed. He knows every thought they have and every emotion they experience. He is the only One who knows how to successfully address each one. No one who has the responsibility of raising a family can do it well without God's help.
The second essential requires knowing some things about the enemy. In a family setting, we have to know the enemy's plots against marriage and the family. He uses lack of appreciation, feelings of being overwhelmed and under supported plus so many others. In a business setting we have to recognize the enemy's tricks of dissatisfaction, complaining and morale deflaters. In any match of contending, a smart athlete always takes time to learn some things about the enemy: how they operate and what their strengths and weaknesses are.
Moses spent 40 years learning the ways of the enemy. Even though, at the time, he didn't know he would one day oppose them. Then he spent the next 40 years learning about the One who would give Him the strategies and powers to deliver the people from bondage. The last 40 years Moses used what he had learned. He had 80 years of training to prepare him for 40 years of ministry. When you feel like your preparation period is taking too long, just think about Moses. I doubt that anyone reading this has spent 80 years going to school. Trust God that He knows what is required. His plan has no flaws. Trust that He knows exactly what is needed.
Here is a third truth of Leadership Essentials:
3. You can't do it alone.
There are numerous examples of Moses following God's commands and others having significant roles in the process. The example we will focus on here is related in Exodus 18. To fulfill God's purposes for our lives, we all need assistance and support. Those in leadership who try to do it all exhaust themselves. They also short-change the people. There is no way to do your best all the time if a person is trying to do it all. Those who try to run a one-person show lack trust. Part of the responsibility of leadership is to train others and then trust them to implement what they were taught. If a ministry or business folds when the leader passes on, whoever was at the helm did not prepare well. Leadership requires looking ahead and looking around. Look around and let God identify to you who should be trained in what capacity. Look ahead to determine what positions and services will be needed in the future and prepare for them.
The final Leadership Essential for this post is:
4. Don't stray from the essence of your assignment.
Moses spent a total of 120 years preparing, learning and executing his assignment. However, he let pressure and frustration cause him to miss the mark. He spent 120 years, walked right up to the finish line and was disqualified from crossing over. How disappointing. Leadership is not easy. Moses was meek and an excellent leader. He interceded for the people on many occasions and did not seek personal revenge against those who opposed him. He exercised patience and restraint numerous times. But one act of disobedience cost him dearly. (Deut. 32:48-52)
Keep God's laws. Don't allow agitation, frustration, impatience or egomania to cause you to fall short of receiving all that God has for you. Cling to Him with all that is within you. Keep going back to the Source, the One who called you, to regain focus and godly perspective.
God called you. He prepared you. He will keep you. God Bless You!