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Old 02-24-2007, 04:43 PM
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Joseph M. Smith Joseph M. Smith is offline
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Default Joshua's leadership style

I suppose we have all done Bible studies on Joshua and leadership. But about eleven years ago I did one that now, as I review it, looks even better than when I did it! I just may have learned a few things from it and from life since then. For your edification and feedback:

TAKOMA PARK BAPTIST CHURCH
Ten Commandments of Leadership
As Demonstrated by Joshua
The Old Testament Book of Joshua, which we studied together during August, 1996, offers many insights for spiritually minded leaders. Your Stewardship Committee presents this Bible study, prepared by Pastor Smith, to all of the church’s committee members, general officers, teachers, and ministry coordinators, so that we will be thinking about the management and use of our leadership gifts for the Lord.

1. Enlist the “haves” to help the “have nots”, appealing to the need for everyone to share in the effort and thus in the victory. [Joshua 1:12-18]. Some of the tribes of Israel were already in the lands promised them; they might have chosen to sit out the battle for the rest of the land, but Joshua saw that it was important for those who were endowed with wealth, skill, and leadership to use those gifts for the benefit of all.

2. Gather intelligence about the nature of the objective, especially about the spiritual or emotional readiness of those against whom you must operate. [Joshua 2:11]. Had there been no spies sent out, Israel never would have known that the enemy in Jericho was already so afraid that, in effect, they had already forfeited the battle. It will help us as leaders to know exactly what we face, and often we will discover that the problems are not really as serious as we had thought.

3. Plan carefully, meticulously, and make sure the plan is clearly communicated. [Joshua 3:1-17] Notice the order and the detail with which Joshua planned the crossing of the Jordan. He left nothing important up to chance. And he clearly communicated his plan to those who had to carry it out. No plan is any better than the means used to communicate it.

4. See to it that the entire community is included in your accomplishments. [Joshua 4:1-3]. There is ample evidence that the twelve tribes were competitive and not very inclined to cooperate with each other. So when there was an accomplishment, the crossing of the Jordan, the memorial stones were twelve in number, so that each segment of the community was included. Leaders make sure that no one is intentionally excluded from victory.

5. Pay attention to the way you got to where you were going; learn from both victories and mistakes and make sure others can learn from the record. [Joshua 4:5-7]. Good leaders are not finished once some activity is over; they need to complete it by evaluating, thanking participants, preparing records, and seeing to it that those who come after will have the benefit of whatever has been learned.

6. Use symbolism and spiritually inspiring methods to rally your supporters and address your detractors. [Joshua 6:1-15]. The elaborate ritual prior to the taking of Jericho was designed to inspire Israel and to demoralize the residents of Jericho. Today’s leaders can frame their activities with an atmosphere of dignity and significance, so that those who follow them can feel that what they are doing shares in God’s great and awesome power.

7. Know how to mix compassion and justice, especially when the integrity of your commitments is at stake. [Joshua 9:1-27]. When Joshua learned that he and his subordinates had been tricked by the Gibeonites, he felt, for a time, that he would like to abandon them. But a commitment had been made to protect them, and so Joshua led his people to honor that commitment, but, at the same time, to impose penalties on the Gibeonites for their dishonesty. Leadership often has to make the best of a bad situation when others are less than honest.

8. Plan beyond the here and now, envisioning a structure for the future. [Joshua 13:1-7]. As Joshua grew older, he recognized that he would not be in place forever, and so he began to delegate more responsibilities and to perfect a plan for the administration of the nation after his departure. Good leaders identify and train others to take on the roles they have been filling.

9. Reward yourself, but modestly, and only when the victory is assured. [Joshua 19:49-50]. When it was clear that Israel had secured the land, and when everyone else had been satisfied, then Joshua asked for a modest piece of land, and received it. People will reward leaders with their affection if leaders do their work faithfully, and do not focus on rewarding themselves or building their own power base. But you do deserve some form of reward for having given leadership; don’t indulge in false modesty.

10. Remain true to the principles around which you have built your life and your leadership. [Joshua 23:6-13]. Joshua, at the end of his career, is still focused on the same themes with which he began the conquest of Canaan: putting aside fear, trusting the presence of God. There is great power in knowing what your goals and values are, and staying with them. That’s not being stubborn; that’s being clear about what is important.

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