The month of March is dedicated to our pastors and leaders. Let us consider leadership using David as an example.
David’s name is mentioned about one thousand times in the Bible. His name is mentioned more than the name of Jesus Christ. He is the man who has the honor to be Jesus’ ancestor. The Lord identified himself with David; the God of Heaven and the Earth identified His Son with David. Jesus was not even named as the son of Joseph (Mary’s husband), but as the son of David. What an incredible achievement! One might have expected Jesus to be named as Abraham’s son, whom God promised that his descendants would be more that the sand on the whole earth! But God chose David. This shows us how the Lord saw Him.
It is notable that not everything was smooth in David’s life. He was a murderer, an adulterer and he had many wives. How could Jesus identify himself with such a man? We find the answer in the book of Acts.
“…He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.” ( Acts 13:22)
David was a man after God’s heart; he had a right heart. This is what God looks at when He chooses and places His people in positions of leadership.
“For the Lord does not see as a man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” (1 Samuel 16:7)
God knows the hearts of all, this is demonstrated by the consistency of God’s logic in all that He does. He has never chosen perfect leaders; He chose whom He chose, knowing their heart. If it were up to people to choose leaders, they would hardly have chosen those whom God chose. For example, how could Abraham, the founder of monotheism, be chosen as a leader? He lied, at times he was disobedient, and he had several wives. Despite all that, Abraham was righteous in his heart before God.
God’s choice of His anointed in the New Testament was also interesting. It is known that Apostle Paul had to correct Apostle Peter for being hypocritical – he communicated with the pagans (the uncircumcised) when the Jews were absent but when they were present he stopped eating with the pagans (Galatians 2:12). In another instance, Paul himself was corrected by religious priests.
There will never be any perfect leader apart from Jesus. Sometimes we wonder how God could have chosen certain pastors and leaders when they have not yet attained absolute holiness; however, remember that in January we discussed how we ought to love God with passion, strive toward Him and have a personal relationship with Him. So, if God has chosen someone as a leader, it means He found such desires in his or her heart.
David’s life shows us that every leader goes through a path of formation. Here is David’s path:
- The time of preparation. First, he was a shepherd, then he became Saul’s servant, and later a warrior. Throughout this phase of his life he remained a student.
- Rejection, persecution – it seemed that all Hell had broken loose against him. He experienced rejection not only from Saul but from his own family and people.
- The kingship. He was recognized by all the people. Everyone realized that God was for him and with him.
Similar stages will mark the lives of all great leaders. Only prepared and wise people can understand and accurately interpret the various periods in the lives of their pastors and leaders. We should learn to understand that God deals differently with His servants, He teaches and leads them differently along their life path.
“Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:4).
Why does God take His anointed ones through difficult life stages? He does this in order for them to become an example to the people they lead. If they do not pass through these stages, they will not be able to understand those who follow them. God even allows leaders to journey through difficult roads only for our sakes – for us to receive comfort, wisdom and blessing because of their experience.
Both the good and bad experiences of our leaders are beneficial for us, because they become the examples which we can follow or not follow respectively. We see this in the example of King David, who when he was rejected by his family and his own people, did not hate them, did not retaliate, did not get annoyed at God, but continued to serve Him faithfully.
Special qualities of God’s leaders
- God’s leaders know how to have a common ground with God. This helps them in their difficult times. They know how to rely on God. We cannot always understand them but they know what they are doing. We might judge them or be concerned about their future, but at the same time they are directly connected to God, and they are actually sorting out their issues with Him. When David was in danger before fighting Goliath, he refused to wear Saul’s armor; he relied only on God. True leaders know how to find consensus with God and how to please Him. If you want to be a true leader, you have to find out how to please God.
- God’s leaders love God and people and they are always faithful to God’s principles. David did not love only God, he also loved people. Despite Saul’s attitude to him and the fact that he had the chance to retaliate, he never raised his hand against God’s anointed. He was faithful to God and to the hierarchy of authority; he never violated God’s order.
- True leaders always do more than is required of them. David was not asked to fight Goliath but he did it. When he fought Goliath, he sacrificed himself for the sake of all the people, for God’s will and for His purpose. Saul told him to bring 100 foreskins but he brought 200. This is a lesson and hint for all leaders and aspiring leaders – leaders do the maximum!
- Regardless of circumstances, the transgressions of genuine servants of God do not change them. They remain true to who they are. David was constantly betrayed but he did not give up, he continued to love and forgive.
- A real pastor and leader will continue to raise people, regardless of the peoples’ attitude to them. When some of the leaders under David forsook and even fought against him, he hid in a cave and raised new leaders.
Dear brothers and sisters, there is nothing new under the sun – everything works together for your good and the good of your followers. May all these lessons from David’s life help us to understand God and God’s leaders while becoming better leaders and more importantly, better people.
May God bless you!
With love and honor, Senior Pastor of the Embassy of God church
Translated by Vera Kozlovets
Edited by Kizito Leacock
Recommended books to read:
- “You and your pastor” by Sunday Adelaja
- “Pastoring without tears” by Sunday Adelaja