Leadership Factors compiled by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

LEADERSHIP FACTORS 

DEALING WITH SET BACKS

One of the things that confront both Christian believers and leaders are set backs. They are impediments that suddenly arise and seek to frustrate and stop progress and success. They are purposed to be a blockage and hindrance to making greater further advancement and if not rightly attended to can become permanent stumbling blocks. A Christian leader generally has to face at some time or other major ones that can become a deterrent to a tremendous move forward in life, work and ministry, therefore they must be looked at in a divine light and receive God’s perspective so that they can be effectively dealt with. Satan, in the main, is responsible for and no leader should be ‘ignorant of his devices’ – 2 Corinthians    Even Paul admitted on one occasion that ‘Satan hindered us’ – 1 Thessalonians 2:18

Looking at the Scriptures it possible to learn much from others that suffered major set backs and how they managed to attend to them through the help of God and move into a closer walk with God and into a greater sphere of usefulness. It is possible to have great set backs and yet made great comebacks.

1/.  THE SET BACK OF REJECTION AND REMOVAL

He who was to become a famous and influential leader, Joseph, knew what it was to have divine dreams given to him evidently crushed by the rejection of his brothers and removal from home, a real comfort zone Genesis 37. His first hard experience was to rejected by his brethren and then removed from familiar surroundings.  Other things were also to occur that were intended to really set him back in his relationship with God and his future hopes, but such were dealt with by a healthy spiritual attitude. He knew what it was to rebound from all the setbacks and make great comebacks. All that sought to hinder was effectively dealt with and in the process was made a noble character appropriate for a notable position and task as a great ruler and leader.

2/.  THE SET BACK OF ISOLATION 

Here was a man, Moses, who suffered a major set back at a critical point in life when he was forty. He had to escape for his life and spend the period in isolation – Exodus 2: 15. He became exiled from a situation that he felt strangely bound to. The incident threw him for long time. It was quite a protracted period that he must have had to contend with but when God encountered and ministered to him he was ready to move on and into leadership in a tremendous fashion. All that time was overcome as God nurtured him for a major role for His people and history. God enabled him to cope and come through with quality traits that made him and outstanding leader. What a comeback on his return!

3/.  THE SET BACK OF DEFEAT

For Joshua he appeared to meet a major crisis soon after a tremendous time of the seeing the supernatural and the experience of victory – Joshua 3 & 6. Everything appeared to be set up for a march through the land with conquest after conquest in mind only to suffer a startling set back at a place called Ai – Joshua 7. Instead of revelling in triumph and being victors, Israel is reduced to defeat. This was not what he or they expected. Thankfully he knew what to do and had access to God to find out the root cause and found sin to be in the camp. He was not afraid to deal with it and then move out again with a divine strategy and confidence and conquest was restored. There was to be a major comeback that ensured conquest.

4/.  THE SET BACK OF DEVASTATION

There came a number of setbacks in the life of David before he eventually ended up on the throne. Just prior to it happening he really had to face a real problematic factor that tested him thoroughly. He had been sent back by the Philistines rather disgruntled and on his return to Ziklag, where he and his men’s loved ones should have been waiting, found that it had been razed to the ground and their families taken captive – 1 Samuel 30. He was in great straits and even his men got to the point of possibly stoning him. What an awful stumbling block to any future expectations! But he knew what to do and who to turn and made an enormous come back, the Lord enabling him to turn the tragedy into an outstanding triumph. From being denuded he was able to enrich a tremendous amount of people.

4/.  THE SET BACKS OF SLANDER AND MISREPRESENTATION

It was one thing to respond to God’s call to return to his homeland and accept the challenge of doing something about the depressed state of the city and the people and then when engaged in a worthy enterprise to suffer setbacks through a violent opposition. It was bad enough to have build a wall from the awful rubble that met his gaze but then to have to confront an inveterate foe meant he had to deal with a gigantic impediment, an hindrance to progress – Nehemiah 4:1,2. He was of such a character that he would not permit such to stop him in this staggering building project. There was a readiness to make an immediate comeback and fight-back when these people dared to challenge his enterprise. Although slandered, ridiculed and misrepresented he would allow these factors to deter what God had put with him and so he finished the work.

5/.  THE SET BACK OF DENIAL AND SPIRITUAL COLLAPSE

This great apostle and leader Peter was subjected to an immense set back when he denied his Lord – Luke 22:62. He had tremendous difficulty in dealing with the experience that suddenly appeared to hit him from nowhere. Never did he think he would come to the moment when he would disown any connection with Christ, the one that had impacted and influenced his life for three and a half years. He did suffer some sort of temporary collapse but he was not to stay in this condition. There came the moment when he was confronted with the resurrected Christ and where a fresh and greater commitment was made. What a comeback was made by him and this is evident in Acts 2: 14 and onwards.

6/.  THE SET BACK OF CALLING AND SERVICE

A young man sets out with two great Christian preachers and pioneers on mission, John Mark, only to discover that seemingly he had not got what it takes to fulfil such a vocation – Acts 13: 4,13. When he sets out he did not think that it was going to be as hard and tough as it was and so when an opportunity arose to back home he seized it. What a setback to an individual who thought he would be able to make good! Others must have been disappointed by this, not least himself. But the story does not conclude with failure. There came the opportunity of making a comeback through his uncle Barnabas and he took full advantage of it m- Acts 15: 37.  Later on Paul was pleased he had made it and requested his presence and help – 2 Timothy 4:11.

C0NCLUSION

* All kinds of setbacks will occur in fulfilling the Christian ministry and one must not be either upset or offset by them. They are part and parcel in achieving the will and purposes of God. One must face the fact that here will be no immunity from these things.
* God is able to give a mind set and heart attitude where is a positive response to them in and through Him. They give an opportunity of proving His wisdom and strength in greater measure and also for the leader to flex his spiritual mind, nerve and muscles and obtain triumph and immense progress.


 

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