1 Samuel 16:1-13
#1- LEADERS DON’T JUST TALK ABOUT PROBLEMS, THEY SOLVE PROBLEMS
-Process Proceeds Product.
-Leaders aren’t born; they are made.
QUESTION SET 1-
- Write down the dreams and desires you have for your life.
- Write down the characteristics that you’d like to see come to fruition.
- Now, what process is it going to take in your life for you to achieve that product?
#2- GREAT LEADERS HAVE THE RIGHT PRIORITIES
QUESTION SET 2-
- What are the top 3 priorities in your life?
- Look at your calendar and your bank statement to get an honest answer to your true priorities. Does the way you spend your time/money reflect the same priorities listed above?
#3- GREAT LEADERS ARE DEFINED BY THE RIGHT CHARACTERISTICS
-King Saul was a tall, strong man. Samuel was trying to find the next generation of leader based on the previous year’s model.
QUESTION SET 3-
- What are the characteristics of great leaders according to the world/secular culture?
- How do the following arenas define great leadership: politicians, sports, business world, your profession?
- What are the “outward appearances” or traits that people are looking for today in leaders?
QUESTION SET 4-
- If you are a leader, who is the “David” in your office, group, church or team? The one that no one would ever consider, that doesn’t meet the typical leadership narrative, or the one you’ve never considered before?
- If you don’t consider yourself a leader, then why not? God has a history of using the most unassuming, seemingly insignificant, and unqualified people to be leaders.
4 Details about David’s Unassuming Life in vs 11-12:
- He was an afterthought
- He was the youngest (most inexperienced, least mature, and least qualified)
- He didn’t currently hold a leadership position
- He didn’t show much potential for leadership or meet the current list of leadership characteristics.
QUESTION SET 5-
- Now that you’ve defined the traditional leadership traits according to the world’s standards, what are the “uncharacteristic characteristics” of leadership according to Scripture?
#4- GREAT LEADERS HAVE A DEPENDANCY ON GOD’S SPIRIT IN THEIR LIFE
-As a leader, I can’t think of a greater thing to have than for the Spirit of the Lord to be all over you. The Holy Spirit should mark your life, family, communication, decision making, and everything about you as a Christian leader.
QUESTION SET 6-
- Have you ever seen a man/woman and thought to yourself, “God has really anointed that person” or “God’s hand is really on that person’s life?” Has anyone ever said that of you?
- What made you say that about someone else? What did you notice in their life that made you say or think that?
- What does a leader’s life look like when it is marked by the Spirit of the Lord?
As leaders, growth should always be a goal. So how do you do that? What’s the secret sauce for growth in an organization? What do leaders need to know in order to experience growth in their personal life but also in the organizations that they lead. I believe that God is calling you to MORE, and I want to give you a few leadership lessons from one of the greatest leaders in the OT.
Here are 4 things that leaders do to take their organization/team to the next level.
READ Exodus 18:13-18
#1- You Have to Admit That it’s Bigger Than You
-Leaders can’t be engaged in everything, so they have to put huge amounts of trust in individuals to be over a ministry.
-If you’re drowning in your area, facing burn out, feeling isolated, frustrated at a lack of progress, it’s probably because you haven’t admitted yet that this is bigger than you.
- Don’t think anyone else can do the job except them, or as good as them.
- They want all the credit.
- I and ME instead of US and WE. It’s OUR team, WE did this, the reason why WE are here.
-Lone Rangers: blame others if something goes wrong and take the credit if something goes right.
-Leaders: take responsibility if something goes wrong, and give away all the credit when something goes right.
PRESIDENT Harry Truman: “You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you don’t mind who gets the credit.”
-Lone Rangers: it’s all about ME, look at what I’ve done.
-Leaders: it’s all about the team/organization, look at what we’ve done together.
A- “Only do what only you can do.” What are the things in your life that only YOU can do? Focus on those!
B- What are the things in your sphere of leadership that you could train someone else to do? As a Christian, think about making new disciples. What is your plan to teach someone else and send them out as a new disciple maker?
C- What area of your leadership do you struggle with a Lone Ranger mentality?
READ Exodus 18:19-20
#2- Listen and Learn
-One of the hardest people to help in life is people that don’t think they need it.
-Healthy things grow.
A- What is your method of listening and learning? (Podcasts, books, one-on-one discipleship relationships)
B- What are the top 3 resources that you are listening and learning from right now? Share them with someone else to help them in their journey as well.
C- Can you identify an area of you life and leadership that has grown in the past 6 months?
READ Exodus 18:21-22
#3- Pick the Right People
-The RIGHT people are your greatest asset. The WRONG people are your greatest liability. The WHO is more important than WHAT.
-Sometimes, the people that got you HERE may not be able to get you THERE.
A- What are the top 3 characteristics you look for in people to assess their leadership potential? A desire for you to add them to your team?
B- The RIGHT people are your greatest asset, and the WRONG people are your greatest liability. Can you give an example of how that’s played out in your life and leadership?
READ Exodus 18:23
#4- Stand the Strain
-Sometimes our people’s satisfaction hinges on your ability to stand the strain. Your ability to stand the strain creates a life change environment for someone else. Your ability to hold up in a time of monotony or pain paves the way for people to encounter Jesus. Your ability to withstand the trails creates hope and healing for someone else.
A- As you look back in your life, can you identify a time where you gave up too quickly? What did it cost you in the end?
B- When things get hard in leadership, how do you stop from giving up? Burning out? Quitting when things get tough?
Leaders think and perceive the world differently than followers do. So what makes leaders different? It’s not your level of training, abilities, or skills (despite popular opinion). In reality, our leaderships begins and ends with attitude; it effects your vision, shapes your purpose, and determines your outlook.
Attitude ⮕ Actions ⮕ Accomplishments. So, you want to get things done? Want to make an impact? Want to lead well? Focus on attitude.
"The greatest discovery of my generation is that humans can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind." - William Lames, a father of modern psychology
"As a man thinks in his heart, so he is." -King Solomon in Proverbs 23:7.
QUESTION SET 1-
- Write down the name of a person you respect and admire, then write down why you admire that person.
- Now look at the qualities you wrote down and put them into 3 categories: attitude, ability, and appearance. Can you see how important attitude is?
Your attitude as you begin a task will affect the final outcome more than anything else. Many times, the battles your face are won or lost even before it’s begun.
READ Numbers 13:26-33
QUESTION SET 2-
- What is your mindset when faced with a difficult task, problem, or unforeseen barrier? Are you confident, full of faith, hope, and optimism? Or are you negative and doubtful of getting results?
- Do you agree with the statement that the battles we face are often won or lost even before the battle begins? What does that say about the power of your attitude?
Attitudes are contagious. The question: is yours worth catching?
It was God’s intention to give His people their promised land, but as a result of the negative attitude of the 10 spies, Joshua and Caleb were outvoted and an entire generation of people never caught a glimpse of it. Your attitude as a leader can limit God.
QUESTION SET 3-
- What is my usual attitude before trying something new?
- Are there certain new experiences that make me feel negative?
- Does my attitude help or hinder my success with God, family or ministry?
- Do you identify with Joshua and Caleb or the ten spies? Have you ever let what the situation looks like dishearten you or cause you not to act?
- How does it make you feel that your attitude has the ability to derail God’s plan for your life? Do you feel the weight of that? How does that statement challenge you
What’s more important in leaders (and the people on their teams)? Is it attitude or aptitude? I say attitude.
- It's easier to train aptitude than attitude.
- Attitude can impact overall performance.
- The right attitude can overcome obstacles.
1 Kings 19:19-21
-Elisha was an ordinary guy living with his parents working on a farm when God called him to do something incredible. He was a pretty average guy that called into leadership.
-Did you know that God has a plan for your life? That he has a purpose for you, that He has big plans and wants to use you in a powerful way at school, in your community, in your home, on your team, in your business and in the church?
Will you accept the mantle. The calling, the purpose of your life in leadership?
QUESTION SET 1-
- What is the purpose of your life? Do you know why you are here on earth?
- What are the top 2-3 things that God has called you to do? What are your top 2-3 priorities in life?
- Oftentimes God looks for people that are being faithful in their current situation to elevate to a position of higher influence and leadership. What does it look like to be “faithful” in the top 3 areas of your life?
-Elisha had no details, no location, and no return date. He simply knew that God had called him to follow Elijah, so he went!
You don’t have to know all the details to obey immediately.
-Focusing on Jesus doesn’t mean you’ll have all the details.
-Leaders aren’t the ones that know everything; just simply the ones that are willing to act on what they do know.
QUESTION SET 2-
- Take a minute and write down what you DO know. What is your calling, your gifts, your talents, the opportunities that you have right now, and the doors that God has opened?
- What excuses are you making that have hindered you from moving forward and using those things for God’s glory? What else are you waiting on God to do before you take your next step?
In order to really focus on God, you have to STOP focusing on other things.
-The secret to focus is elimination.
-Whatever it is that is keeping you from focusing on God, burn the plow. Relationships, a sin in your life. Here’s the danger though!
-Sometimes it’s hard to burn the plows and kill the cows because those things aren’t necessarily “bad.”
-Even a good thing can be a bad thing when it holds you back from the best thing.
QUESTION SET 3-
- What is stealing your focus away from God? It’s time to burn the plows.
- What is getting in the way of you growing in your relationship with God today? It’s time to kill the cows.
- What step do you need to take RIGHT NOW so that you can be ready to focus on God and do something incredible with your life?
-Everyone has heard of a to-do list. It helps you focus on what really matters for that day and makes you more productive. Instead of creating a to-do list, try a to-don’t list.
-Ruthlessly eliminate the clutter and distractions so that you can focus on what God has called you to as a leader.
-Great leaders aren’t the ones that are good at saying YES to things, they are the ones good at saying NO to things.
If you spend enough time with God listening to Him, then you’ll be able to hear him when a lot of other noises and voices are audible.
For Moses, the first of many shouts to his heart from God was a burning bush. The story is worth a closer look.
#1- We see Moses doing life the way he had been doing it for years. It was a day like any other; a good reminder that we can seldom anticipate God’s communications.
#2- God appeared to him through a burning bush, but it wasn’t the bush that was significant. The point is that God brought something into Moses’ life that demanded his attention. Anything that invades your life and demands your attention can be a conversation starter from God.
QUESTION SET 1-
- What does it look like to have an attitude of expectation when you’re spending time with God? Are you spending time with God to hear from Him, or simply to check the “prayer” or “bible study” box off of your list?
- What posture have you taken in the past that proved to be fertile ground for hearing from God?
- What positive things have happened or are happening that God could be trying to use as a conversation starter?
- What negative/difficult things have happened in the past season that God could be trying to use as a conversation starter?
#3- Moses decided to pay attention to the event. He went over to it and determined to explore what it might hold for his life.
-If you don’t know all the right answers, at least you can start asking all the right questions.
-Many events in our life are experienced, but few are explored for what they might mean on the deepest levels of who we are and what God might want to say to us.
QUESTION SET 2-
- What areas of your relationship with God need to be explored more deeply?
- Have you ever missed something that God was trying to do or speak to you, only realizing it later when hindsight was 20/20?
- In a hectic, busy world, how do you stay disciplined not to rush past things and overlook ways that God may be trying to get your attention?
#4- “When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look...?” God did not speak, nor does it appear that He was going to speak, unless and until Moses approached the bush.
-After Moses went to look, then God spoke. If you want to hear a word from God, a good step is to demonstrate your willingness and desire to hear it.
Norton Sterrett in 1948 to a group of college students called into the ministry: “How many of you who are so interested in finding out the will of God for your life, spend even five minutes a day praying for Him to show it to you?”
-That five minutes a day that equates to going over to look at the bush.
-A life led by God is a life that hungers for a word from God. It is a life that will be
relentless in pursuit of that word.
QUESTION SET 3-
- How fervently have you prayed?
- How passionately have you searched the Scriptures?
- How intently have you sought counsel?
- How purposefully have you launched out in ways that afford God the opportunity to direct your steps?
-Remember, hearing from God is not a passive exercise. So what are you willing to do to lean in and listen to hear what the Creator of the world is trying to say to you?
Shepherds in the Bible: Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, and Amos just to name a few. Shepherds were the first on the scene for the birth of Jesus, and Jesus even called himself the Good Shepherd.
#1- Think like a shepherd means its all about the sheep.
READ John 10:11-13-
-Being a shepherd doesn’t just mean that you care for, feed, lead, and protect the sheep. It means that you’re willing to lay your life down for the sheep.
-Shepherds ask, “What do the sheep need?”
Hirelings ask, “What’s it in for me?”
Question Set 1-
- What words come to your mind when you think of a shepherd?
- What are the types of things that leaders have done for you in the past that made you feel valued as a team member?
- Knowing that you’ll never have to give your physical life for those that you lead, what does it mean to lay your life down for others as a leader?
#2- Leading like a shepherd means taking people to a place that they DON’T want to go.
READ John 10:3-
-Pen is comfort, seems safe, with the group, sleep, etc.
READ Psalm 23-
-First Lady Rosalynn Carter- “A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”
-If you’re taking people where they want to go, you’re not a shepherd or a leader, you’re an Uber driver.
Question Set 2-
- What is something that a leader “made” you do, that you didn’t see the value of until after you did it?
- As a leader, how do you get people to do things that they don’t want to do? Things that are costly, uncomfortable, or new?
- Where are you taking your team, as their leader? Do people understand what you are trying to do and where you are trying to lead them?
- Think specifically about the area you lead. What’s the ultimate “win” for the people following you? What’s the end goal you are trying to get them to see or experience as a result of your leadership?
#3- Good Shepherd Leaders know they Work for the Great Shepherd
READ 1 Peter 5:2-4-
-All leaders have a boss, and all leaders work for a goal. Maybe it’s a pay raise, maybe it’s an award like teacher of the year, maybe it’s a perk like paid vacation or something like that. But what if your boss is JESUS?
-Scripture says that we are to do EVERYTHING in our lives “as unto the Lord.” That means if you’re a teacher, a banker, a mom/dad, a welder or a mechanic, even if you are your own boss and own your own business, you will work for God!
Question Set 3-
- When you work for a physical person, there are rewards that you can receive for doing a good job. What are the rewards that leaders receive when they do their work as unto the Lord?
- Most people are attracted to leadership because it gives them pay/position/power. Yet, leading like a shepherd seems to be a thankless job. If someone asked you why you wanted to be a leader that doesn’t get the pay/position/power, what would you say?
#4- Lead by example
READ John 10:4-
Question Set 4-
- What areas of your life are you confident in that your example would be a good example to others? What areas of your life need work before you can hold them up as a standard for others to shoot towards?
- Leaders have to walk the line between bragging about their actions and using your life to personally challenge other people. So how do you lead by example in the areas of service, generosity, spiritual growth, evangelism, scripture memory, and prayer?
Leadership isn't always easy. It's not always fun. In fact, God's plan for leadership in your life may be to have you be a leader during a very difficult season. Do you know how to lead during those times?
Deborah is a great example of strong leadership during a very challenging time.
6 Things Leaders Do During Difficult Times
1. Deborah was courageous.
Deborah was brave and obedience to God and led the Israelites in times of challenge, slavery, and oppression.
2. Deborah served with wisdom and knowledge.
Deborah listened well, and when she spoke, she added value to people's lives.
3. Deborah supported the people God called to lead.
She encouraged Barak and acknowledged his role in leading the Israelites to victory. Deborah’s confidence in God’s power gave the Israelites assurance God was with them.
Question Set 1-
- When was the last time in your life that you had to show courage? Family, job, leadership, in your Christian faith?
- Leaders work hard to establish a feedback loop. That’s a structure put in place where they can hear from the people they lead. How good are you at listening? How do you seek out the opinions, voices, suggestions, and questions of those that you lead? Or do you just assume they you’re there to talk and tell them what to do?
- Wisdom comes from God, and knowledge comes from study/experience. What are you doing as a leader to grow in both of those areas? What could you do if you desired to have more wisdom in order to lead better?
- How do great leaders help their followers feel supported? Do you have a story of how you’ve thrived in the past due to the support/encouragement of your leader?
4. Deborah was trusted.
She earned her position due to her belief and faith in God. Her strong faith earned her the respect of the people, which allowed her to influence and motivate Barak and his men.
5. Deborah was confident.
She placed her confidence in God. Deborah never hesitated to fulfill God’s commands. Her reassurance and strong beliefs led the Israelites to victory.
6. Deborah was humble.
She gave praise and glory to God because the victory was God’s. Deborah and Barak sang a song of thanksgiving and praise to God and the followers. The nation of Israel had peace for forty years due to their belief and obedience.
Question Set 2-
- Leaders won’t be followed if people don’t trust them. What are ways that leaders can build trust with their team? How can you create a team that is willing to do anything, go anywhere, and follow you wholeheartedly?
- How does a leader gain confidence? What’s the difference between confidence and arrogance? What impact does a leader that lacks confidence and clarity have on their team?
- Humility is tricky for leaders. Some leaders fake it, and false humility can easily be spotted. Some leaders think they are being humble by tearing themselves down and belittling their accomplishments. But that’s not humility either. So what does humility look like in leadership?
- One of the most awkward comments that I get is when someone compliments me on my leadership or something that I’ve done. What do you say? Thank you? I know? Well, I worked hard? God has really given me a gift? Learning to be gracious as a leader helps with humility. So go around the room and give a compliment to someone on the group. After you give the compliment, allow the person to give a response geared towards being gracious, humble, and giving credit where credit is due. Be ready with a response, because good leaders will constantly be praised and congratulated. Your response during that time could go a long way for your leadership in the future.