The Development of the Leader
Are leaders made or born? I believe leaders are called and developed. God calls and God develops. If anybody ever looked like they were a born leader is was Moses. And at the pinnacle age of 40, just when it looked like he was ready to emerge as the hope and future of the Hebrew people, he fell flat on his face. The problem: Moses had never been developed. Yes, you could argue that he was born with certain characteristics, like charisma, that would aide any leader, and it is true that the call of God was on Moses. BUT the call of God also involves the timing of God. And it is the timing of God that has everything to do with the development of God.
After Moses spent 40 more years being developed by God (he spent the first 40 being developed by the Egyptians), God is ready to put him on the stage of leadership. But even then God was not done with the development of Moses as a leader. You see, the development of God is really a life lone process.
The continued development of Moses as a leader is clearly seen in within the narrative of the 10 Plagues of God upon Pharaoh and Egypt. It’s easy to miss this leadership development system because you can easily become caught up in all the details of the drama, but look closely and you will see God’s guiding hand. The story within the story is one of Moses continuing to grow as a leader.
The Leadership of Moses – Plagues 1-3:
In the first three plagues, you will see if you read closely, that God would speak to Moses, and then God would instruct Moses to tell Aaron to speak to Pharaoh. Remember that Moses was very unsure of himself so God sent him a helper, his brother Aaron. During these first three plagues, God would talk to Moses but Aaron would talk to Pharaoh.
The Leadership of Moses – Plagues 4-5:
With the next two plagues, a change occurs. Aaron drops out as a speaking voice and Moses begins to speak directly to Pharaoh. Moses is maturing as a leader. He is developing right in front of our eyes! After standing back and watching Aaron, something clicks in Moses and he says to himself, “I can do this. Why am I standing here and just watching? I don’t need Aaron to speak for me anymore. Let’s cut the middle man out!”
The Leadership of Moses – Plague 6:
Moses may be the one talking now, but Aaron is still the one doing the physical acts that bring the plague. Things like tossing down the staff. But with the arrival of this plague, Moses and Aaron begin to share in the physical act of demonstrating God’s power. They are doing it together.
The Leadership of Moses – Plague 7-10
It doesn’t take long before Moses becomes fully independent of Aaron. In these last four plagues, Moses does all the talking and all the acting. Aaron is just an observer and supporter at this point. BUT don’t miss this: Moses is never fully independent. He is always dependent on God. He is never out there alone. The moment the leader steps out on his own, out from under the protection, guidance, and development of God, the process becomes short circuited.
There will be more to learn about leadership. Moses is still not done. We are never done learner and growing and developing. God has a plan. A customized program just for you.
It is said that wherever God guides, He also provides. That is so true. God will always enable you for that to which He is calling you. Your part is to simply obey.
Passage for Reflection: Exodus 7-11
“Lord, may I be sensitive to your call and your developing hand in my life. Amen.”