Courageous Leadership

If you’ve taken any kind of look at the leadership of Joshua, you’ll be well aware of how he was told not to be afraid but to be strong and courageous. The Lord himself gave him this message.

Interestingly, David gave the same instructions to his son Solomon.

Why do leaders need to be courageous?

Here are a few reasons:

  • Because sometimes they are stepping into very large shoes. That was true for both Joshua and Solomon. Joshua followed in the considerable footsteps of Moses; Solomon in those of his father, David. It may not be exactly true of every leader: some are called to be pioneers or to fill a void, but any Christian leader that God calls is following a long line of distinguished leaders. It takes courage to fill big shoes.
  • Because of the size of the task. For Joshua, it was the conquest of the Promised Land; for Solomon, it was not only the leadership of Israel, he was also to take responsibility for building a house for the Lord. While there is probably a great deal of truth in the ‘Peter Principle’ (people get promoted to the level of their incompetence), it is also true that God likes to give people challenges that are bigger than they are – so they learn to trust him and leave room for him to work.
  • Because not everyone will welcome your leadership. Moses was constantly challenged by the people he was trying to serve. Nehemiah led the Jerusalem rebuilding project in the face of relentless opposition from people in the area who did not want to see the city prosper.
  • Because you may have to make difficult and unpopular decisions. Courageous leaders understand that leadership is not a popularity contest. This is closely connected with the previous reason. Consensus is wonderful when it is possible, but how much work grinds to a halt because a leader is not prepared to make or stand by an unpopular decision? Courageous leaders understand that leadership is not a popularity contest.

What reasons would you add to this list?

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