Being a small group leader takes effort. And at times, it can feel like a burden. In this post, we acknowledge the burdens that come along with leadership. In future posts, we'll look to the adequacy of our God and His Word to help small group leaders. Plus, we will look at graciously asking members to commit to small group.
The Burden of Leadership
The first chapter of Joshua opens with this.
1After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aid: ''Moses my servant is dead.”
We need to pause there and let the impact of those words sink in, just as Joshua had to let the impact of those words sink into his soul. This is the Moses who
confronted Pharaoh and said on behalf of the LORD, “Let my people go, that they may worship me.”
- presided over the 10 plagues in Egypt culminating in the feast of the Passover and the death of every first born in Egypt.
- held out his staff at the LORD's command and the Red Sea parted so that Israel crossed over on dry land while Pharaoh's horses and chariots were thrown into the sea.
- ascended Mount Sinai when it was billowing with smoke because the Fiery Presence of the Lord had descended on the mountain to give Moses the Law.
- at the LORD's command brought water from the rock to quench the people's thirst.
- at the LORD's command prophesied about the manna and quail to feed God's people during their wanderings in the desert.
After a total of 5 decades of leadership, Moses, the servant of the LORD is dead. And Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aid, is now to take Moses' place. And Joshua feels the burden of stepping into a role that was occupied for so long by a giant like Moses.
Not only is Joshua assigned leadership in the shadow of Moses but Joshua has a difficult mission assigned to him. A recent census counted 600,000 fighting men. Assuming an equal number of women brings the total to 1.2 million. Add the children and Joshua is responsible for leading about 2 million people – plus their livestock. And his mission is to lead these people and make war on the people of Canaan and to take possession of the land that God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
I can say Joshua is feeling the burden of leadership by what the LORD says to Joshua. Three times the LORD says to Joshua,
“6Be strong and courageous...7Be strong and very courageous...9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.”
The LORD speaks to address Joshua's need at the moment. Joshua has a need to be strong and courageous because at the moment he is feeling weak and inadequate.
How do we as leaders carry the burdens of leadership for the long haul? In my next post, I'd like to think with you about the adequacy of the presence of God and the Word of God.