Wednesday, April 02, 2008

God is a weak leader

I was in a meeting yesterday where there was a discussion around the stationing of a minister in a particular church. The argument from one in the meeting was that the possible candidate was not strong enough to deal with the particular church in question. The impression given was that the minister who went to this church should be able to defend, fight off, dissolve, block, prevent, defeat, stop the retired ministers from being disruptive. I was saddened by the discourse that used war language to describe the work of God. Language that politicians use when defending their turf. The ability of a leader depended on how well they could fight! The servant leadership model, the first will be last, mercy ministry, the image of Jesus washing the feet of those he led was not impregnated in the words of this discussion. It left you with the feeling that if you were not strong in human terms you would not be successful in the ministry. Wrong, most of the leaders in our scriptures were people who failed to see any strength in themselves. For this reason they became great leaders.


Jenny Hillebrand said...

Hi David

Glad you're back!

I've been thinking lately about leadership quite a lot and I wonder if we get too caught up trying to define leadership. It is just so apparent that there is not one good way of being a leader. I feel sorry for stationing committees and such because someone who just doesn't work in one church can fly in another.
But like you say, if we're depending on the grace of God, then Godly characteristics in a leader must be encouraging!
I'm not sure if I make sense - I don't want to write an essay.

David Barbour said...


I find I can work with better with leaders who are more "Godly than gifted" if that makes sense. Characteristics like faithfulness, trust, forgiveness, perseverance, caring are huge when getting God's ways done.


Jenny Hillebrand said...

Yes, I have to agree with you! But there are different qualities required in the first leader than in second tier or second chair leaders, don't you think? Unco-operative second chairs can be destructive. Well, so can unco-operative first chairs, I suppose!

Andre said...

Hi David,

Thanks for your open and honest sharing, I was in a meeting a few years back discussing a similar topic, and when the group of esteemed church father's answered with the comment, "You must believe that God makes the decision! " I could only respond with, "So who plays 'god' that day?"

How often is God left out of the discussion, how often is our faith in the great 'I AM' reduced to nothing, because we can't see.

God bless you
Andre du Plooy

David Barbour said...


I am always concerned if I personally start to say things like "This IS God's will" and how strange it is that when you become Bishop you think it easier???