I heard a great sermon tonight from Joshua 1 that had within it several tenets of good leadership.
For those familiar with the story, God tells Joshua he’s going to lead Israel across the Jordan River. Without specifics, God simply tells Joshua to go and claim the land on the other side of the river. God’s assurance to Joshua is that if he obeys, God will honor the promise He made to Moses and to Abraham before him.
What caught my attention through the sermon was the idea that as Joshua ordered his officers to have the people prepare to move, the job of the officers became one of encouragement and enlightenment. I can see the commanders and their subordinates telling the people to prepare to move out, all the while encouraging them of the positive outcome facing them — an outcome based not just on the encouraging words and instructions God issued to Joshua, but also based on the past experiences of Israel as Moses lead them out of captivity (remember the Red Sea miracle).
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this book of instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” JOSHUA 1:7-8
Good leadership requires much more than simply telling people where they’re going and how to get there, but offering encouragement along the way and a glimpse into the vision of success, or the hope in better things to come.
Isn’t it amazing how God has offered us His vision for us (eternal life with Him), and the hope that we can have it if we’re willing to follow his guidance (His word — instruction — from the Bible)?