Tenacity in Leadership

March 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Leadership

The article in the most recent News Letter is on the Missional Church. My thesis in that article is that we do not need all the qualifying labels attached to the church. This will surely position me for some ‘brick-bats’, lobbed most probably from both sides of the issue. That goes with the territory.

None of us enjoy criticism. We are wise to always listen with a discerning ear to our critics as they may in fact have some valid observations that if heeded will be to our benefit. It takes incredible TENACITY to thrive in the ministry today. if the battles were substantive, we would do better. Most of the battles are the equivalent of “Black Flies” on a canoe trip in the Adirondacks in May. Annoying but little else. My prayer is that these brief thoughts on tenacity and the example of Caleb will strengthen and encourage you Pastor. As Paul exhorted the Galatians, ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap if we do not give up (Gal. 6:9).

Caleb has long been one of my favorite biblical personages. I marvel at his TENACITY. He made the right decisions. He trusted God. He obeyed. He also endured 40 years in the wilderness as a consequence of the disobedience of other so called leaders” If you join your ministry future with IUS, you will also taste the bitterness of wilderness wanderings as a consequence of the disobedience of other so called leaders.

Caleb stayed focused. He knew that His God was going to give him that portion of the Promise Land that had been allocated for him. I suspect he dreamed often and longingly about that land. Rightly so. What amazes me about Caleb is his dignity. It is not recorded that he ‘bad mouthed’ those ten so called leaders who were responsible for putting him in the wilderness for forty years. That gentlemen is godly tenacity. May it be true of all of us as well.

Joshua 14:6-15 Then the sons of Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know the word which the LORD spoke to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh-bamea. “I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-bamea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as it was m my heart. “Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart oft he people melt with fear; but I followed the LORD my God fully. “So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God fully.’ “Now behold, the LORD has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the LORD spoke this wont to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. “I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. “Now then, give me this hill country about which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken.” So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite until this day, because he followed the LORD God of Israel fully.

Recabites Jer. 35 ‘You shall not build a house, and you shall not sow seed and you shall not plant a vineyard or own one; but in tents you shall dwell all your days, that you may live many days in the land where you sojourn.’ “We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, not to drink wine al] our days, we, our wives, our sons or our daughters, nor to build ourselves houses to dwell in; and we do not have vineyard or field or seed. “We have only dwelt in tents, and have obeyed and have done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.

Paul Acts 20:22-31 “And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that J may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God. “And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. ‘Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. “Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.

Tenacity is staying on course even when the night is dark, the the way is brutal, the criticism is sharp and the reward seems only a distant mirage. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12).

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