“But those who are noble plan noble things, and by noble things they stand.” – Isaiah 32:8
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 31-34
About 15 years ago, talking about leadership became a new trend in churches. There were books written about how to be an effective leader, conferences on leadership, and many professional public speakers who were getting rich on telling people how to be good leaders. But what makes a good leader?
In chapter 32, Isaiah defines a righteous leader as one who rules with justice and reigns in righteousness. A good leader is one who helps people see and listen to what is happening around them. A good leader has good judgment and speaks readily and distinctly. A good leader is noble and honorable, and does not speak folly nor plot iniquity. A good leader does not practice ungodliness nor leave people hungry and thirsty. Finally, a good leader does not ruin thepoor with lying words nor devise wicked devices.
Leadership is not always easy and it is not for everyone. I have known many people who have tried and failed because they did not meet the criteria that Isaiah discusses. Can anyone live up to the standard that Isaiah provides? Yes. Jesus. As you read Isaiah’s standards for righteous leadership, you discover these standards describe Jesus. As one who seeks to be a good leader, I know my best path is the one where I follow the example of Jesus. It does not mean that I am perfect, but I am following the One who is.
How are you doing leading others? What criteria do you have for those whom you have entrusted to lead you? How might our community, our country, and our world be different if all of our leaders lived by the standard of Isaiah 32?
This week in worship, we will discuss Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter 35 as theIsraelites prepared to return to Jerusalem. I believe it is appropriate for us today as we continue our return to a regular rhythm of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, have a great weekend and I look forward to being with you this weekend in worship at 9:30 and 11:00, and also online!
P.S. Our staff and our lay leadership continues to monitor the growing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Franklin, Madison, and Hart county areas. While we are thrilled that we have been able to return to live worship, we also realize there may come a point in time when we will have to close thechurch campus again for the health and safety of the congregation and our community. In the event that we feel the need to close the church campus, we will send you an e-mail and share information using Facebook. Please continue to be in prayer for all of those affected by COVID-19 in our community and around the world.