One of the most powerful gifts that I have been given in my life as a leader is the encouragement, advice, correction and camaraderie from trusted friends. I am under no illusion that I could have enjoyed the success and longevity that I have in pastoral ministry without them. Unfortunately, as the years pass and my experience grows, it is tempting to give in to the lie that I have outgrown the need of confidents who can provide much needed accountability and balance in my life.
Moses, the revered man who led the Israelites out of 430 years of captivity in Egypt, had to learn this lesson on a few occasions. Initially when approached by God to be the one to lead the people of Israel, he was reluctant and would only take on the job if Aaron his brother would be his spokesperson. Shortly after the miraculous exodus and the miraculous plagues that led to it, Moses was comfortably in the lead, walking across the dry Red Sea and causing water to gush out of rocks at the Lord’s command. It would be natural in his shoes to begin to rely on your own strength and take on an “I can do this” mentality.
In Exodus 17, the Israelites are camped out and are attacked by the Amalakites. The Bible records that Joshua assembled an army while Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of a nearby hill. As long as his hands were raised the Israelites were winning, as soon as his hands lowered from fatigue they began to lose. So Aaron and Hur sat him down and held his hands for him until the battle was finally won.
Whether you feel strong or are losing the battle, the same holds true; you need others. I need others. Here’s how I have been able to find people willing to hold me up.
1) Be the friend I want to have.
2) Look for people that I respect and want to be like.
3) Open up about myself. You have to be vulnerable at some point…
4) Reach out regularly. Laugh together, talk about life together. Accept wise counsel. Review decisions. Repeat.
The world needs healthy leaders. And leaders need others to be healthy. Get your hands up.