Saturday, 21 April 2012

Lessons in Leadership: Self Imposed Leadership.

Ok, so I haven’t written a blog in a long time, but have decided that I should again. I’m going to share with you some of my journey through Kings 1 and 2. At the moment I am studying these two books in particular, because I have been told that they give great examples of good leaders and bad leaders. It is particularly important for me at the moment to look at leadership, as I am about to embark on another exciting chapter in my life, as a University Chaplaincy Assistant. I remember talking to a friend in the car about it a few weeks ago, who reminded me that although God gives people leadership, it is a big responsibility, and a lot of work.
But I think also it is an important thing for all of us, is it not? How many of us are involved in leadership in one area of our life, or the other? Whether that be a women’s basketball team, a senior lecturer at university, a senior waiter, CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment. How many of us feel called to leadership? How many of us are wondering why God hasn’t given us a leadership role? Yet people less experienced than us, seem to get snapped up as soon as we walk through the door?
In 1 Kings 1, we have the example of David’s son Adonijah, trying to tactically impose himself as King, even though David has already promised accession rights to Solomon. As David gets older and older, we see him thinking to himself ‘I will be King’, and preparing chariots and horsemen to run before him ( 1 Kings 1:5). But the reality is this didn’t work out for him. As much as he believed he should be King, and tried to take this role, God had other ideas. In the end, David is alerted to what Adonijah has done, and Solomon is promptly announced as successor to the thrown, leaving Adonijah fearing for his life. The key lesson for me is don’t try and impose yourself as a leader, because if it is not of God, then he will eventually cut you down.
I have felt called to leadership for a long time. People have prophesised it – many people that I don’t know, yet each time I have thought ‘right, this must be the moment, someone else has been put into that place, and it has always left me asking ‘what now?’. Each time, and this has caused big struggles for me, because it has caused me to almost try and think, push, manouver my way into leadership positions. It has left me ‘trying’ to become a leader. But let me tell you something, if you do this, and God doesn’t want you in that position, then it’s not going to work; you will find yourself flapping around, getting angry with people, causing tension – overall making tings more difficult for yourself. If people haven’t accepted you as a leader, and you try to FORCE leadership on them, you are going to create tension – whether that be from the arguments, or from trying to ‘people please’ – one of my major struggles.
I remember a particular time when because of this call to leadership, I have felt so desperate for people to like me, where I have thought 'If I don't get people to like me then I am never going to be a good leader.' I have spent a lot of the time feeling like a complete failure. 'God wants me to do this, but I'm not up for it!'. It has been really difficult for me to comprehend the idea that not everyone is the right kind of leader for every particular moment.
This is something that God DOES understand though, and if you spend that time listening to what God wants you to do, and let God put you into your position of leadership at the right time, then actually you will be far more use to God, to yourself, and to those around you. After all that time wondering what God was playing at, what I was doing wrong; well the upshot is that God has now put me in a leadership role, representing the Chaplaincy to 300 people on Pittville Campus – AND all the responsibility that goes with that. This role didn’t come about through my work, in fact I had almost nothing to do with it. It came about entirely through God talking to the Chaplains through prayer. I remember looking at the job description when it came to me, and it was perfect for me. The upshot of it all is this; God puts people in leadership positions, not man.If God does not want you in a particular role, then no matter how hard you try, he is not going to let you have it.  God knows best who is suited to each leadership role, not man, and has individual plans for all of us. Just because God is saying ‘not now’, does not mean he is saying ‘never’, some times he is saying ‘I things planned that are perfect for you, but you have to trust me and wait till the right moment, rather than trying to jump ahead of me’ Just so you know, the length of time between me being given this job, and the first prophesy about leadership, was about a year. God likes to take his time! How long did Noah have to wait for the floods to die down? But the point is that it happened and God kept his word, because he never breaks his promises.
How does this apply to you? Are there any areas of your life that you feel you may be trying to force leadership onto people?

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