Moses was chosen, called, and commissioned by the Lord to deliver and lead the people of God. Though reluctant to lead at first, Moses demonstrated himself to be a skilled and effective leader. His uniquely close relationship with God was the foundation of his leadership and enabled him to lead amid a diverse and often difficult group of people. God himself spoke this validating word of Moses in Numbers 12:7, “He is faithful in all My house.”
Throughout his journey of faith Moses demonstrated that leaders must have vision, perseverance, and the ability to endure the pain of leadership without compromising their character. Our character as leaders is always on display to those around us and to those who follow us. If we crumble and fall into the pit of unhealthy leadership and practices, it will have crippling and devastating consequences for the people entrusted to our care as leaders. If we are not healthy as church leaders then the family of faith will be vulnerable to the plague of disorder and dysfunction.
Humble leaders attract followers and create an environment of trust, and trust is vital to healthy relationships and healthy organizations. Arrogant, autocratic leaders may dominate for a time, but they do not build trust among those who follow them. And eventually, most see their kingdoms crumble around them in the tremors of seismic rebellion. There is a difference in leading people and driving people.
Spiritual leaders have been entrusted by God to lead those whom God has placed in their care. Humble servant leadership is not weak leadership. For leaders, it is not between being strong or weak, the choice is between building God’s kingdom and helping people discover God’s purpose for their lives or building our own little earthly kingdoms and exploiting those entrusted to us.
Leaders who are strong and humble value the people entrusted to them, and when you find this kind of leader, you will find healthy and growing churches and organizations. This is the kind of leader that people will follow. This kind of leader produces confidence in the heat of the battle. This kind of leader inspires trust when storms arise. This kind of leader motivates people to reach heights they never dreamed possible. Ultimately, this kind of leader enables people to reach the place promised to them by God.
It is a paradox that the one whom God entrusts in leadership can be both humble and visionary; he can be a person of grace and yet bold; he can be consumed and yet at peace; he can be filled with compassion and yet speak the truth without compromise. Moses learned the lessons of leadership as a shepherd in the desert and by answering God’s calling with trembling yet unwavering faith. And in the end, it was said of him in Deuteronomy 34:10, “But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.”
When leaders recognize the privilege of being chosen and called by God and give of themselves to humbly serve those entrusted to them, they are secure and can endure because they know, as Elwood Blues put it, that they “are on a mission from God.”