What is a leader? In the sense that most of us think about it, this dictionary definition fits well: A person who has commanding authority or influence.
Now, most of us hear the word leader and we immediately think of someone we know. That is, someone else. Most people don’t see themselves as leaders. We think that leaders are put in charge of things. We think about things like public speaking, being in charge of big decisions, strong and talented personalities, and taking much responsibility. These are the things we see as synonymous with leadership. It’s why most of us will shy away from it.
But how does God describe a leader? When I look at Scripture I see very few examples of men and women whom God called to lead that match the description in our minds.
Moses didn’t see himself as a leader. He rejected the notion and came up with many excuses. Gideon was called to lead and he whined about being weak and the most unlikely choice. Esther was afraid and timid to steward her influence. Mary was a humble poor young woman from a backwater town when she was told she would be the mother of Jesus. Peter, Andrew, and John were fishermen who were told they would fan the flame of a world-changing movement. There are many more examples throughout Scripture. People were called by God to lead who, according to traditional definitions and their own hearts, had no business leading.
So, how does God identify a leader? See Gideon’s response to God’s call on his life and notice God’s response:
15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you… -- Judges 6:15-16
I will be with you. That is how God identifies leaders. That’s how he empowers their authority and influence. His presence. Look how God describes leadership to Paul:
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Christ’s power calls us to lead. Christ’s power equips us. Now, to be fair, not everyone is called to be a leader all the time. But there are times when all of us will be called upon to step out, go first, use influence, blaze a trail, and lead forward going to a place where we hope others will follow. That’s what I am inviting our White Oak family to do a week from now.
We don’t have to wait for an angelic visit or an audible voice from God to tell us when it’s time to step up and step out. God calls us all toward bold steps of trust. So, next Friday, November 11 we will celebrate our Advance Commitment Night for Shaken. I am inviting anyone from our White Oak family who is ready to step forward and lead out in your commitment to join us at the Cincinnati Museum Center that evening. Leaders trust God to take them to a place they don’t think they can go on their own. Leaders trust God to inspire others through their actions with influence which they didn’t know they possessed.
I am personally inviting you to Advance Commitment Night. We’ll be at the Museum Center in the Grand Rotunda for worship, encouragement, inspiration, prayer, and commitment. We will have childcare provided and we’ll enjoy access to the museums after our program. We will lead the way for a historic season in the life of our church. We will make our commitments, first. We’ll pray and trust God to use that influence as we all together, with our entire White Oak family, make our commitments on Sunday, November 20.
Register you and your family for Advance Commitment Night below.
Maybe you don’t consider yourself a leader. Can I say (with all due respect), it doesn’t matter what you think? It matters who God says you are. I’m praying for a movement of the Holy Spirit on our hearts to send us forward in bold steps of trust! Let’s be shaken!
Leading with you,
White Oak Christian Church