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Recently a friend of mine showed up for a meeting with a large stain on his white shirt. Several people were kind enough to point it out to him, and he responded with a sigh each time and said, “Well, I spilled a little coffee on myself, then tried to clean it up in the bathroom with some soap and water. And it spread. If I’d just left it alone, probably no one would have noticed.”

I wonder if this is how Samuel felt. By appointing his sons to serve as judges, Samuel was trying to fix problems but only succeeded in making things worse. Maybe the old saying is true: “Good leaders are born, not made.” Some say that in this country we have shifted from the idea that a good character should back up a leader’s abilities to the concept that the character of a leader matters less than his or her own skills. The scripture points to the dangers of character taking a back seat in choosing a leader. Just look at what happened when Samuel appointed judges of poor character.

–Andy McClung

Questions to Think On

  • What do you look for in a leader (any leader, not just in politics)? What is your own style of leadership?
  • How much do you think a person’s character affects his or her ability to lead? How could it help or hinder their ability?
  • Who, in your opinion, are the three greatest leaders ever? What makes or made them great?
  • How is voting a stewardship concern?

How Do I Act?

  1. Consider the style of leadership your church employs. Determine its effectiveness and how you think it could be improved. Share your concerns and ideas with your session.
  2. Examine the composition of your church leadership groups (session, committees). Are there a wide range of ages represented? Are both genders represented? Do the groups have a firm foundation as to why they are doing what they are doing?
  3. Register to vote, if you have not already. Commit to being an informed voter in all elections, from local government to national elections. In all elections choose whom you vote for based not on political party or popularity, but based on the person’s character (morals, lifestyle choices, foundational beliefs).
  4. Pray for the leaders of your church, community, and country. Ask God to challenge them to uphold a good character in all they do.

Photo by Kelli Dougal on Unsplash

Elinor Brown

Elinor Brown

Elinor Brown is the team leader for the Discipleship Ministry Team and an ordained minister with membership in West Tennessee Presbytery. She and husband, Mark, have a married daughter, son-in-law and a newborn grandchild named Evelyn. Elinor enjoys making things—from labyrinths to prayer shawls to clergy stoles and holding Evelyn.
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