Crucibles and biblical leaders

I have written before about the concept of crucibles, which I have lifted from the work of Warren Bennis and Robert Thomas (my doctoral research project is on the significance of crucible experiences in the development of Christian leaders). Bennis and Thomas have suggested that,

Crucibles are, above all, places or experiences from which one extracts meaning, meaning that leads to new definitions of self and new competencies that better prepare one for the next crucible.

You can read a bit more about the idea here.

Over the next wee while (translation: undefined amount of time) I am going to blog a bit about a series of biblical leaders who encountered some form of crucible experiences. It would be great if you felt free to add your comments on the stories I’ll be looking at and the ways the concepts connect with your own life.

Here are the 8 leaders I’ll be writing about:

  1. Joseph – tested by the word of the Lord.
  2. Moses – experiencing God’s call after 40 years in exile on the back of a failed attempt to establish his leadership.
  3. Joshua – his apprenticeship under Moses is followed by an encounter with the Commander of the Lord’s army.
  4. Gideon – fearful, reluctant leader, commissioned by the angel of the Lord
  5. David – the crucible of having to wait while Saul clung onto the throne; also the crucible of failure.
  6. Nehemiah – his life direction changed as he was broken by news of the ruins of Jerusalem.
  7. Jesus – tested in the desert.
  8. Paul – dramatic encounter with the risen Christ that turned him 180 degrees.

So stay tuned. And – especially if you are a leader – get involved and help create a conversation.


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