GODLY LEADERSHIP: TRAITS FROM JOSEPH
Leadership as I have indicated earlier spans across every sphere of life. Leadership principles are also relevant in every sphere of life. However, there are certain leadership principles that will work in the secular world, but not necessarily work in the context of Christian leadership. When I say Christian leadership, I don’t necessarily mean Church leadership. By Christian leadership, I mean leadership provided by Christians. In my previous post, Joseph: Model of Godly Leadership I indicated I will be looking at the life of Joseph to build my points on Godly leadership. I have already introduced Joseph in the previous post. The seventeen year old who got all the attention from Genesis Chapter 37 through to the end of Genesis i.e. Chapter 50. Joseph is a leader worth studying especially for an emerging generation of leaders —The Youth.
I believe everyone is a leader—on various levels. The moment you are born, you automatically enter into leadership. At a point in your life, you will be a Husband or Wife, Father Mother, an Elder brother or Sister, a Father-in-law or Mother-in-law, a Brother-in-law or Sister-in-law etc. I have used every day common relationships to indicate to you that, at every point in your life you will carry an influence over people and that places you in a leadership role. So you are not a leader necessarily because you lead a big organisation. You are a leader because you have influence over other lives. This means learning about leadership should not be the preserve of a few. With this understanding, lets start our character study of Joseph now. Let’s go back to the beginning of his story in Genesis
And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying. (Genesis 37:1-11 KJV)
Throughout the rest of this post, I will be gleaning my points from the Scriptures above. Now I am not sure if Joseph had the benefit of knowing these points I will be discussing when his brothers were cruelly selling him off. I believe he might even have forgotten about his dreams at a point. But we have the benefit and advantage of Scriptures handed to us complete and can draw lessons and analogies from the lives in the B.ible
1. VISIONARY: SEEING INTO THE FUTURE
· Genesis 37:5
“And Joseph dreamed a dream...”
Every leader has to be a visionary: have a vision or dream for their life, family, country or organisation. Speaking about vision and dream, I am not necessarily referring to dreams that occur in a sleep; though there's a place for that in spiritual matters. To be a visionary simply means having the ability to look into the future and see possibilities ahead. It is an inner drive or desire to do something with one’s life that is beyond self and will survive many generations and impact lives positively. Having a vision or dream may vary for many people. Some people seem to have it easy. Right from day one, they know what they want in life and they go straight after it.
For some however, it is a journey of continuous struggles and sometimes failure upon failure. If you find yourself in the latter group, still struggling to figure out what to do with your life, I want to share two critical points to encourage you to hold on and not to give up. Every vision I believe goes through two phases. Understanding this will greatly encourage you to hang on and not give up.
· Lack of Clarity
This is the first phase of a vision where you know deep within you want to do something with your life; but you don't know exactly what. You can't put your finger to it. Everything around you looks blurred. This phase of a vision is very necessary. It makes you “sick” about your comfort zones and your normalcy about life. Don't get discouraged about the lack of clarity of your vision—it is needed to force you to seek out clarity. For your information, all successful people once walked this phase of life before they eventually found clarity about what they wanted to do.
This is the phase of a vision where the fog is cleared and everything becomes clearer. You come out of the tunnel with light lighting your path with a clean, clear sense of purpose. At this phase you start putting structures in place to see your vision taking form and substance. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Things might not be clear now, but keep moving, don't stop and most importantly don't allow anybody to stop you. You have to keep searching and keep persevering, your vision will eventually show up.
It is important to know that as a humans and most importantly, as a Christians, vision is like an in-plant placed into our heart before we were born. God planted them in and if you have difficulty in discovering yours, it’s only logical you check with God. Pray about it, seek his face and He will give you directions. What do you believe God wants to do with your life? Check your inner desires, God placed them there. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).
------To be continued