3 Leadership Lessons from Moses

One of my favorite things to do is study and talk about Biblical leadership. I believe that everyone has the potential to be a Biblical leader. I shared this simple thought with a group of men this past Sunday. These were not your average church guys or men gathered for a Bible study, these were men inside the Medina County Jail. I went to the jail to preach God’s Word to these men and my message could have been summed up in this one though: Everyone has the potential to be a Biblical leader. I believe on major reason we don’t always believe that truth is because we allow our past and our mistakes keep us from moving forward as leaders. Certainly this is what these men felt when they were listening to me preach this message while inside a jail. I believe the person who has made terrible mistakes and been through many trails is a great candidate to be a great leader of God. Charles Swindoll said, “No one deserves the right to lead without first preserving through pain, heartache, and failure.

Maybe you feel that way. How could you be a Biblical leader with your past? I want to remind you, just as I did the men in the jail, that some of the greatest leaders in the Bible could have easily used the excuse of their past. One of these leaders is Moses. I want to share with you three leadership lessons we see from the early life of Moses:

1. Leaders have a past full of mistakes. In Exodus 2:12 we read that Moses murdered a man and then buried him in the sand! Think about that compared to your past mistakes. If God can forgive and use Moses, a murder, in leadership, why couldn’t He use you? We all have a past full of mistakes, but we must not allow that past to keep us from doing what God calls us to do. Jeremy Hales, camp director at Skyview Ranch, says, “The rear view mirror is smaller that the front window.” It’s easy to look in the rear view mirror of our life and see the mistakes behind us, but the front window is huge and is a full-view of what God has for us in the future. Again, Moses murdered someone and God used him; God can use you!

2. Leaders must go through the wilderness. The best leaders in the world have been through the wilderness. After Moses killed a man, he ran (Exodus 2:15) to the land of Midian, which was basically a wilderness. God had two purposes for the wilderness for Moses: to punish him for his sin and to teach him lessons for the future. This is how God disciplines His children. We see this twofold purpose in Hebrews 12:5-11. In this passage we see that God disciplines us because He loves us just as a good father disciplines his children. God is holy and must punish sin. Ultimately, He did this through His Son who bore God’s wrath for our sins. But even as Christians, God has to chasten us and correct us when we sin. What we see in this Hebrews passage is that even as God does that, He also has another purpose in mind: to train us and to make us more holy (Hebrews 12:10-11). Before you can be a leader, God has to train you and sometimes that training comes through a wilderness. Currently I am experience that. I am waiting and praying for God to open a door for my first full-time ministry job, but I am having to go through the wilderness of discouragement, learning to trust God, and patience on Him. Click here to view a post I wrote awhile back on this subject.

3. Leaders have a holy calling. I believe we sometimes don’t fully understand just how special and awesome it is to know God has called you into leadership of some type for Him! In Exodus 3:1-6 we read that God showed up to call Moses from within a burning bush! God then tells Moses to take of his shoes because the ground he was standing on was holy. When God calls you to do something for Him, it’s a holy thing! Don’t take lightly the calling of God on your life.

I hope these three leadership lessons from the early life of Moses are an encouragement to you. Remember, God can forgive you and use you! You may have to go through the wilderness to get there, but the calling of God on your life is a holy thing!

Related post:
3 Leadership Lessons from Jude
3 Leadership Lessons from Jeremiah
3 Ways to Handle Personal Sin as a Leader 

Three Things You Must Do Well When You Preach

Over the past year God has been given me a greater desire to preach His Word. I posted a blog called “A Heart and Gift to Preach” about all the stuff God has done in my life in the past year to give me a greater desire to preach. Also, I have been given many opportunities to preach God’s word this fall as part of my pastoral internship. You can see all the opportunities here. I have been learning that preaching God’s Word is too important to not be done with excellence. I have learned that there are three things we MUST do well when it comes to preaching:

Prepare Well. A good sermon starts with good preparation. Many preachers do not preach good sermons because they don’t spend the necessary time to prepare. Everyone prepares differently, but we all must prepare well if we are going to preach well. For me, preparation looks like this: pray about what to preach, read the passage multiple times, read commentaries as well as notes in study Bibles to help me understand that passage, develop the main points from the passage, type the sermon out in manuscript form, and the practice it multiple times before preaching it. I am sure that my preparation will change as I grow as a preacher, but for now that’s the basic way I prepare my sermons. Two things I want to hit when it comes to preparing well. First, let Scripture drive your preparation. Do not force the Scriptures to “fit” what you want to preach. Let the Scriptures develop and drive what you are going to preach. This is why expository preaching needs to be your main style of preaching. It is the best way to keep God’s Word at the center and not preach your thoughts, but preach God’s thoughts as revealed in His Word. Second, use good resources when you prepare. There are so many good resources available to preachers today it is foolish not to use them. My favorite sources to use are: Logos Bible Software, Bible Knowledge Commentary Set, Wiersbe Bible Commentary, and the ESV Study Bible. Those are the sources I tend to use the most, but there are endless resources out there to help you prepare well to preach.

Pray Well. Jerry Falwell, founder of Thomas Road Baptist Church and Liberty University once said, “Nothing of eternal significance is ever accomplished apart from prayer.” If you have not spent time praying for your preaching than you might as well not preach. It’s in prayer that God gives us passion, strength, direction, wisdom, and boldness for our preaching. This past Saturday night before preaching on Sunday, I spent much time alone and prayed. I’ll be the first to admit that this is one area where I struggle not doing well when it comes to preaching, but every time I preach I must make myself spend much time praying before hand. I believe many men stand up to preach great sermons, but those sermons lack God’s power and God’s Spirit because they have not spend time praying over that sermon. Charles Spurgeon once said, “I would rather teach one man to pray then ten men to preach.”

Preach Well. What I mean by this is lay it all on the line when you preach. Put your whole heart into preaching your sermon well. If you have spent much time preparing and praying then God will give you the boldness and confidence to preach that sermon well! This past Sunday I preached with the most passion and boldness that I think I have ever preached. I really believe I was able to do this because God empowered me because I spent much time preparing, praying, and then preaching as well as I could. Charles Swindoll says, “When you are filled with the Spirit and empowered to speak for Christ, there is an accompanying sense of invincibility. There is no fear for what people might say or do.” The church of Jesus Christ needs bold preachers!

James MacDonald shared his thoughts on preaching in a recent blog. If you have a few minutes, it’s worth reading! You can see that blog post here.