In this current season I have been doing a lot of thinking around Leadership and have attended countless leadership webinars, podcast, and Zoom sessions. These things have always helped led to positive reflection during times of contemplation afterwards. I say this because I am positive these things have helped me come to point of writing my first blog type post. To be honest I am scared about typing something on the internet and would rather share things in person where there is room for conversation to flow. This avenue, I only get a couple of proofreads then once it is posted it is done……. but I feel a need to write this now in this season for the person who may need to hear this about leadership and hopefully conversations flow from it. I believe it is important for us to focus on the kind of leadership that can inspire and led to change in our society which is Reluctant Leadership, which is someone leading not out of personal desire but rather from a place of divine calling where no one else is willing to lead or speak out against injustices that plague God’s creation.
To give an example of Reluctant Leadership I want to look at an example of this found within the Bible about the extremely influential leader, Moses. Personally, I have always connected with the example of Moses found in the Bible, as I am sure many others have as well. He is a perfect example of Reluctant Leadership and helps us see how this style leadership is needed in our society. It’s a harsh reality that so much of our world is driven by a culture that can cause individuals to lead out of a space to gain more power and personify their own ego. This style of leadership can lead to further improvement in our society but will never create the inspiration required to truly change our society. For this change to happen and be effectively inspired it needs to come from the place of Reluctant Leadership like the example of Moses we find in the Bible. Moses is a prime example of Reluctant Leadership and we realise that very early when we read about the encounter, he had with the burning bush in Exodus chapter 3 & 4. Throughout this experience God performs amazing signs which brings Moses to lead (read it is interesting).
After these amazing signs, Moses is still not leaping towards leadership or wanting to gain influence. He is happy working on the land and raising his family and feels God could find someone else to lead his people out of Egypt. In Exodus 4:13, which is right before the conclusion of the burning bush, he begs the Lord to send someone else and God tells him his brother Aaron will lead with him. This call to lead is something that Moses is not seeking but a divine calling from God to inspire a nation. Throughout the book of Exodus, we read about the amazing things God does through Moses and how Moses grows in his leadership. Throughout the story Moses consistently shows the strengths found in Reluctant Leadership and consistently tries to encourage others to step up to their calling. We see this after Moses receives the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai (God loves showing up in nature) when he speaks the following words to the nation of Israel after they ask Moses to not let God speak to them in Exodus 20:18-21.
All the people witnessed[a] the thunder and lightning, the sound of the ram’s horn, and the mountain surrounded by smoke. When the people saw it they trembled and stood at a distance. “You speak to us, and we will listen,” they said to Moses, “but don’t let God speak to us, or we will die.”
Moses responded to the people, “Don’t be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear him and will not sin.” And the people remained standing at a distance as Moses approached the total darkness where God was.
Moses had an opportunity in this moment to gain his power and cement his place as the one on top. Instead, he encourages others to not be afraid of God speaking to them knowing leadership was not about him, his ego, or gaining more power. In this moment we see Moses leading, and consistently throughout Exodus, to inspire others to step up to their calling which can only come from Reluctant Leadership.
By: Pastor Matt George