|Posted on March 15, 2018 at 7:55 AM|
GETHSEMANE PRAYER MINISTRIES INT’L.
JOSHUA GENERATION LEADERSHIP TRAINING
TUTORIAL TEACHING PAPER 1
By Rev. Moses Aransiola, PhD.
THE EVOLUTION AND REVOLUTION OF LEADERSHIP
Leadership is a process. It is an evolution or a developmental process. Leadership is a process of developing ordinary men to become leading men who eventually become revolutionaries. The purpose of leadership development therefore is for the leader to become a revolutionary in his or her area or field of leadership.
Evolution is defined as the process in which something passes by degrees to different developmental stages. It means to begin something and advance it from one stage to a more developed stage. In leadership, it means coming up from somewhere and becoming an effective leader.
A revolution is a radical or a violent change. It is a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving in an organization or a community. A revolutionary therefore is someone who dares to change the socio-political trend of an organization, a state or a nation contrary to what was obtainable in the past. He is someone who affects the status quo or traditional patterns.
Most revolutions are often violent because men naturally resist change. Some historical revolutionaries who have effected socio-political changes in their nations either peacefully or violently include Fidel Castrol of Cuba, Vladimir Lenin of Russia, Chairman Mao Zedung of China, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Chief Obafemi Awolowo of Nigeria, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Jomo Kenyata of Kenya and a few others.
SOME OF GOD’S REVOLUTIONARY LEADERS
1. DEBORAH AROSE A MOTHER IN ISRAEL
Deborah was a woman revolutionary in Israel. In her time, the nation of Israel was under oppression by enemy nations, such that fear pervaded the entire community and normal rural life ceased. Traveling on the highways was no longer safe due to sudden enemy attacks on the people. Even the Israeli army of about forty thousand troops had no single weapon of war. It was a demoralized and timid army due to long time enemy oppression. Consequent upon the depressed state of the nation, the people had descended into idolatry, as they sought other gods to help their situation. This was the national situation when Deborah arose and became a leader in Israel.
In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways. The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel. They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel? (Judg. 5:6-8).
This passage is a portion of the lyrics of the song of a woman whom God used to bring a nation from the depth of national oppression and despair to national victory, dignity and strength. Though a woman, Deborah’s leadership led to a revolution in Israel. She encouraged Barak the disenchanted leader of the army and personally followed him to battle against the Canaanite army. Under Deborah’s revolutionary leadership, the Canaanite army that had oppressed Israel for more than twenty years was defeated in battle. Sisera, the Canaanite army commander, was killed by a courageous woman while fleeing from the battle. God disgraced the Canaanite oppressors through the revolutionary leadership of Deborah. Israel recovered its national identity and dignity through this revolutionary of a woman. Today, God is still using women to revolutionize leadership at different levels of society. Think Mary Slessor of Calaber, Magaret Thatener of Great Britain and Indira Ghand of India women revolutionaries
2. GIDEON WAS BURDENED AND USED FOR HIS NATION
And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man (Judg. 6:11-16).
Gideon is introduced to us as a fearful man threshing wheat in a cave. He was hiding from the attacks of the Midianites who had plundered Israel in the times of harvest. They would invade the land during harvest and took away every fruit of the field, leaving no sustenance for Israel. This forced Gideon to use a cave as his threshing floor, which was not a proper place for winnowing due to little or no wind. Apart from adopting this strategy to provide for his family, Gideon was also burdened for the land.
When the angel appeared to Gideon and addressed him, “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour,” his burden for the land became apparent in his reply; “If the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us?” He had carried a burden about the deplorable state of the nation in his heart, about how God seemed to have forsaken the nation by allowing the enemies to plunder them. Therefore, he was not as diplomatic as one would expect in his first response to the angel’s greeting. The burden of his heart made him to respond with complaint about how God had forsaken the nation.
a) A Burdened Heart
A burdened heart is one of the characteristics of leaders. Potential leaders are burdened people. They are people with a burden for the land or an organization; they are concerned and disturbed when things do not go well in a community or in an organization. An individual may not have been appointed as a leader, but the fact that he is burdened or concerned about the situation of things in the organization shows that he is a potential leader. He may even be God’s shadow leader in waiting.
The response of the angel to Gideon’s complaint is instructive; he instructed Gideon to go in the might of God and with his burden, save Israel. God would later use Gideon to solve the problem he had been burdened about. It is a common biblical pattern for God to use burdened people in revolutionary leadership. Real leaders think outside of themselves. They go beyond personal thinking to corporate thinking. A leader is concerned about us, not me, or my family. A real leader is a community man.
b) A Humble Attitude
Gideon further responded to the angel’s charge, “Behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.” This is the natural attitude of potential leaders – they think little of themselves. They are people who will present reasons to excuse themselves from leadership responsibility. Moses and Saul were like that God rarely uses the confident who feels ‘I can do it.’ He seems to prefer those who say ‘I cannot do it,’ so that He can manifest His power through them, and that may return all the glory to Him. These are people we call God’s unlikely champions.
Gideon’s qualifications for leadership are: he was the weakest man in his family, born into the weakest family, and his clan was the smallest in his tribe, and his tribe of Manasseh was the smallest tribe in Israel. In other words, God used the smallest tribe, the smallest clan, the weakest family, the smallest man, and the smallest army (300 men) to defeat the strongest army, so that all glory might be His.
3. MOSES SAW, HEARD, AND KNEW; AND WAS THEREFORE SENT
Moses was already an inward burning, burdened leader before becoming a leader outwardly or publicly His burden for Israel literally equated that of God for Israel, so God picked him for Israel’s deliverance job.
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Heream I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt (Exo. 3:2-10).
God is the ultimate leader. He is a spirit and therefore needs human vessels to carry out leadership assignments on earth. Normally, he will often use men who see what He sees, hear what He hears, and know what He knows. These are the qualities that qualify men for leadership with God.
In the passage above, God says in verse 17, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows.” Leadership in God’s house and even in a nation begins when we see what God sees, hear what God hears, and know what God knows. This is what qualified Moses for God’s chosen leader. While he was in the palace of Pharaoh, Moses saw how the children of Israel were been afflicted and oppressed with hard bondage. He saw their suffering, felt their pain, heard their cry, and knew the bitterness of their soul. Infact, this moved him to rise in anger and fury against an Egyptian who was maltreating a Hebrew man. He killed the Egyptian in the process and incurred the wrath of the Pharaoh. This led to his voluntary exile in Midan. God later chose Moses to represent Him before Pharaoh because Moses shared the same burden and vision with Him; eager for the emancipation of Israelite from their collective captivity in Egypt. God uses us to heal the wounds that we feel. No one can heal the wounds he does not feel. Jesus Himself had to become a man of sorrow, full of grief, afflicted and oppressed by men, before He could become our merciful and sympathetic high priest.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted (Heb. 2:14-18).
Through Moses, God compelled Pharaoh to release Israel from slavery. He later hardened Pharaoh’s heart to pursue Israel with his army after allowing them to depart Egypt. Pharaoh caught up with Israel by the Red Sea and met his waterloo. God destroyed him and his entire army in the Red Sea. Moses met a strong Pharaoh oppressing a weak and enslaved Israel. His revolutionary leadership resulted in a dead Pharaoh and a liberated Israel. A new nation was born through God’s appointed revolutionary leader.
In summary, we can highlight the evolution and revolution of leadership as follows:
1. Every leader is an answer to a need
2. Leaders are raised to either mitigate or solve problems
3. Leaders are crisis managers. Moses managed several crisis situations while leading Israel in the wilderness. In a crisis, a leader never throws in the towel in frustration. He must manage the crisis productively, progressively and victoriously.
4. Leadership begins when we see, feel, or notice something missing, something wrong, and something not in order somewhere. This is not a critical spirit, but a perception of needs and what needs to be done to solve the felt needs.
5. A true leader fills a vacuum even in the midst of other leaders. As long as a particular problem persists in an organization, a department or a unit, leadership has not emerged yet. Leadership is about solving problems. Leaders leave a legacy, not a vacancy. If you as a leader don’t solve problems in your location, you leave a vacancy. Life will look for your replacement.
6. The leader has special eyes that see what others don’t see, ears unlike other people’s ears, hearts that perceive and emotions that stir up unlike others emotions.
7. Real leaders are value added chain to their organizations.
8. Real leaders give their all to solve problems they perceive to be real.
May God help and make each and everyone of us His end-time revolutionary leaders who will through God’s grace and power effect positive and drastic changes wherever we find ourselves. Amen.
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