I want to mention something about the loneliness of leadership. Paul tells Titus to avoid the controversies of genealogies, and quarrels about the law. This is almost certainly about Judaizers trying to reassert the Law as a valid way of salvation. Paul instructs Titus to warn them once, twice and then ‘have nothing more to do with them.’
Leadership may sometimes require you to separate from acquaintances or even friendships for the sake of the gospel and for healthy doctrine.
The Christian community and the individual must be protected from sin. And the procedure taught in the New Testament is designed for this purpose – Matthew 18 & 2 John 10.
And that sometimes requires us to separate ourselves from those we may have liked or enjoyed the company off. We do not separate in order to ignore – but so that we can then talk to them as unbelievers – encouraging them to turn to Jesus.
I felt that I could not finish a short series on leadership without mentioning the issue of success and failure – what is success in leadership – and where or to whom do you look for success?
READ Exodus 17:5-7 – Success or failure?
READ Numbers 20:1-11 – Success or failure?
And the LORD said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.
10Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them,(M) “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice,(N) and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.
One was a success and one was a failure.
In Numbers, Moses had disregarded God’s direction to speak to the rock – instead he struck the rock twice?
Why would this be a failure?
The result was that Moses could not lead the people into the Promised Land.
Here was have a principle which is true today – Scripture links Success to Obedience – our obedience to God’s word.
To Moses’ successor, Joshua, God reiterates this, “Only be strong and(A) very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law(B) that Moses my servant commanded you.(C) Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success[a] wherever you go. 8This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but(D) you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Now, here comes a cliché that is completely true – “God’s call to us is to be faithful rather than successful.”
For you to understand this, you have to know who defines what success is. If you draw your definition or model of what success is from the wrong source it will cause you problems. Do you want the world’s perspective on success or God’s perspective on success- because the two are VERY different?
Jeremiah does not achieve one convert in his ministry that we know of (apart from his secretary). Daniel spends most of his life in Babylon and apart from some incredible events, Babylon remained pagan. John the Baptist is be-headed. Where these successful men of God?
We have heard this cliché said many times in – sometimes to even explain away failure. But whether you like the phrase or not it is a True phrase.