This quarter our church small groups are studying the book of Exodus and the life of Moses. One can learn a lot about leadership from the life of Moses. One of the observations that can be made about Moses and his leading of the Israelites is that leaders have a price to pay. The price for leadership is paid in many areas.
The price of relationships.
It is often said that it can be lonely at the top. Leaders, though popular, are seldom liked personally and seldom have true and close friends. Leaders must have an uneasy comfort of being set apart from the crowd.
The difference for Christian leaders is that their calling is one of relationship first to God and then to others. So, regardless if they have the benefit of popularity, fame, or friends, they will always have the presence of the Holy Spirit affirming and spurring them onward. And prayerfully God knits together people and His body, as well as providing Aaron’s and Jethro’s to leaders like Moses.
The price of credibility.
Leaders are constantly being evaluated and critiqued. Leaders never get the opportunity to be “off the clock” or “closed for business”. All eyes are on them almost always. It may be unfair but it is part of the package. Every move leaders make is on stage for others to approve or reject. Whether it is embraced or not they are role models. And the major issue is that it takes countless deposits to build trust, but only a single mishap to withdraw trust from the credibility account.
Even more, for Christian leaders they are the target of major spiritual warfare. I do not mean in a voodoo, extreme karma way; but that there is a real adversary who seeks to destroy the advancement of the gospel and will stop at nothing to bring shame to the kingdom of God. Leaders must take great pains to guard their heart and integrity to not become another unfortunate statistic. Unfortunately, I personally know too many statistics. I pray for my purity and integrity often, and ask others to pray Psalm 78:72 for me.
The price of time.
A leader’s work is never done. He or she is constantly leading, reading, researching, networking, communicating, counseling, organizing, planning, executing details. And when they are not “working” their work is weighing on the mind in their thought life. The work just won’t go away, and for many leaders they have trouble sleeping (cf. Exodus 18:13). The balance of personal and professional time is often blended together.
Christian leaders must realize they are not creators of time but stewards of time. Therefore, one of the greatest activities that should consume their time is prayer. Prayer is not a time waster but a time saver. Martin Luther used to say he was too busy NOT to pray! A leader should pray for wisdom and discernment of time that they are passionate about the right priorities.
The price of fulfillment.
A leader hardly gets the benefit of being pleased. They may get accused of never being happy or pessimistic or difficult to deal with. Complacency or just doing enough to get by is not in their vocabulary. Their aim is excellence. In relationships, it is often the case that these people are not demeaning but simply driven to the greatest of their abilities and even beyond their capabilities.
For the Christian, this must be handled with balance. Though they may aim for excellence they must find their contentment not in personal accomplishments but in faithfulness to God. In the end, satisfaction only comes from rest in the unconditional acceptance in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
These are just a few prices that leaders pay. The point of this message is to elevate your view for leaders and leadership. Leaders have a high price to pay, but in all even leaders need leaders and should be submissive to God’s Lordship. So, pray for and work together with the leaders God places in your life (Hebrews 13:7, 17-18). When you do, who knows how many miracles God might do in your midst?