Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
Psalm 72:1-7 (NRSV)
Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.
May he live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
In his days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
Looking back across the years at my own motley set of experiences with groups large and small, I realized that I have learned a lot about the qualities that make a one a good leader; and, whether that person is in charge of a nation (like the king in the psalm), a church session, or a cub scout den, the same traits prevail.
I have found that a good leader is honest and will not knowingly mislead any member of the group. Over and over, the psalmist asks for “righteousness” for the king. One definition of righteousness is honesty.
It is very important, too, for a good leader to be consistent. People of all ages want and need consistency, which can be particularly important with the elderly and the very young. In the classroom, if a teacher disciplines one student for a misdeed, that misdeed should not be excused in another. Leaders earn respect by not playing favorites and by not making arbitrary decisions that can throw the group into turmoil. Remember, the psalmist asked the king to defend all of his subjects—not just a privileged few.
Finally, a good leader is reliable. There is no better way to undermine the success of a group than to have the person in charge fail to show up for classes or meetings, or to come grossly unprepared. If that happens even a few times, the group will begin to crumble. A faithful leader, according to the psalmist, will be as constant as the moon, as reliable as the sun.
When we find ourselves in positions of leadership—in the church or in the world—may we examine ourselves to see if we are truly good leaders in the eyes of man and according to the scriptures.
Dear Lord, into your hands we place all of our efforts. We know that without your guidance, we cannot be good leaders or even good followers. Help us to examine ourselves in the mirror of your word to determine if we are truly honest, consistent, and reliable in our dealings with others. Amen
Go with God.