Is Leadership for a cause or for a position?

Interesting read, scripture passages for the readings of Sunday 27th September 2015. They have great lessons for leadership.

First reading
Numbers 11:25-29

The Lord came down in the Cloud. He spoke with Moses, but took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the spirit came on them they prophesied, but not again.
Two men had stayed back in the camp; one was called Eldad and the other Medad. The spirit came down on them; though they had not gone to the Tent, their names were enrolled among the rest. These began to prophesy in the camp. The young man ran to tell this to Moses, ‘Look,’ he said ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.’ Then said Joshua the son of Nun, who had served Moses from his youth, ‘My Lord Moses, stop them!’ Moses answered him, ‘Are you jealous on my account? If only the whole people of the Lord were prophets, and the Lord gave his Spirit to them all!’

Second reading
James 5:1-6

An answer for the rich. Start crying, weep for the miseries that are coming to you. Your wealth is all rotting, your clothes are all eaten up by moths. All your gold and your silver are corroding away, and the same corrosion will be your own sentence, and eat into your body. It was a burning fire that you stored up as your treasure for the last days. Labourers mowed your fields, and you cheated them – listen to the wages that you kept back, calling out; realise that the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. On earth you have had a life of comfort and luxury; in the time of slaughter you went on eating to your heart’s content. It was you who condemned the innocent and killed them; they offered you no resistance.

Mark 9:38-43,45,47-48

John said to Jesus, ‘Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said, ‘You must not stop him: no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us.
‘If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.
‘But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone round his neck. And if your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life crippled, than to have two hands and go to hell, into the fire that cannot be put out. And if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell where their worm does not die nor their fire go out.’

What is a common thread of these readings?

Leadership, those being led. The end goal of leadership

In the readings of Sunday 27th September 2015 a common thread is when leading people what do we do with those that follow what we believe, but have their own way of doing it. As Jesus said “Anyone who is not against us is for us”. Moses encourages those acting from their own beliefs and values and prophesing in the town with out him, without his authority. Both Jesus and Moses seem to have a grand perspective on how things should be, which is bigger than what their disciples think how it should be.

The Vision of Moses and Jesus: that all would be following the spirit of God and speaking the word of God and doing good in the world, regardless of what group they belong to.

The Vision of disciples of Moses and Jesus: it seems they see the world in order of hierarchy. With Moses and Jesus at head followed by themselves and then others. But hierarchy is limited in a global world. Business’s want people passionate for the vision of the business not just people that follow orders. A business with inspired employees are more likely to flourish in a world that keeps changing. So any leader can learn from these readings that it is better to teach people to love the vision of the business and not just their position in the business.

What do you think the disciples of Jesus and Moses find hard to accept? Loss of control maybe, a loss of significance? What do Jesus and Moses find easy to accept? The more people for our cause the better. So it shows that the disciples are not yet for the cause but for themselves; they are not yet matured in their journey with Jesus or Moses and their vision.

What is your vision for your mission. It needs to be about others not just about you. If it is just about you then you are only trying to meet a need of significance and not contribution. Grow up!

The second reading from James who is good at putting pain into those that are comfortable in life. We all have a desire to tell James, hey easy going brother don’t guilt trip us too much. But in a coaching perspective, he is really helping us to grow. If we are too comfortable in life, then we are in need of more challenges, and if we are low in challenges then we aren’t pushing ourselves enough to grow. The message is strong from both James and Jesus. If you are comfortable in life too comfortable then you aren’t helping enough, you aren’t giving and growing. Life is about giving and growing. There are no retirement plans on earth or heaven, it is a communion of giving and growing. If you find in life that you are becoming more isolated in your comfort, then it is time to make changes and look at ways you can connect in with those that need you and are doing good in the world. Think of all the people who suffer from you not helping them while you have excess comfort and security.

Remember this point also: if ever you feel under attack from someone, ask yourself, do these people have genuine concern for me? Lots of people in the gospel felt under attack by Jesus and they attacked back and in doing so lost an opportunity for growth and receiving care and benefit from Jesus.

Action steps:

Find a good cause to be a part of, one that will make a difference in the world not just make you different from others.
Discover your areas of comfort that need to be challenged. Like they say you are either green and growing or ripe and rotting. You might be green and growing in your business, but ripe and rotting in your family life.

Tell me what you found challenging about these readings?

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