Posted by: tucsonjefe | October 29, 2006

Leadership thoughts: Get the Vision

As the mid-term elections approach, I find myself despairing over the state of our union.  Maybe I am just getting older, but the political noise just seems too loud – much uproar, little substance.  I keep thinking we will find a great leader to take us through the difficult times we are in.  (Or, better yet, Jesus will come back)  They have always appeared, but I don’t see one right now.  This set me to thinking again about the qualities of a great leader.  What is it that sets someone apart from the run-of-the-mill politicos and bureaucrats?  Leadership is basically the capacity to get other folks to do something, even when they are not required to do it, to influence without commanding.  In the case of the church and our nation, we also want someone who will lead in a direction that is positive.  Hitler was an effective leader up to a point.  Stalin and Castro and Ho Chi Minh all managed to impact others, but their motives and results are certainly not what we have in mind when we say “great leader.”  Maybe that is where we start in finding leadership: we need to find someone who understands and cares about the goal.  Leadership requires a commitment to the right journey. In church we talk a lot about “vision.”  We try to define the vision of the church and relate it in an understandable way.  In our leaders we look for folks who have values that are in accord with the vision.  We have shared values and goals.  In the political arena, the same is true.  We need to find folks who understand the point.  This nation is quite bizarre in that it is not defined by geography or ethnicity.  This nation is founded on ideas.  Loyalty to principles rather than accidents of birth is what makes us different.  The ideas make us great.  Those ideas came from centuries of distillation in the hot fires of war and theological debate and political chaos in Europe.  The great danger of the rapid influx of non-Americans into our land is not that they are evil; it is that they will not grasp the idea of America.  Part of the fault lies with our current leaders, who seem to have lost their grip on the vision.  The American Dream is not a house and 2 cars.  Those things are the results of the dream for many, but they are not the dream.  The dream is that men can live together in free society, governed by an elected body of their peers, mutually agreeing to the rule of law.  Lincoln called it government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  In the American dreamland, I can fail and start again.  I can say what is on my mind without fear of reprisal.  I can worship openly because we Americans agree that there is a Creator who endows us with certain inalienable rights.  (Government does not grant human rights, God does)  We may differ in our perception of His nature, but we allow for that as long as the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are unfettered by government.  Good government protects rights without hindering pursuits.  Governance has long since passed from the loving hands of a part-time band of citizen-servants into the iron grip of a bureaucratic class of accountants and lawyers who live off the production of others.  It is time we took it back.  That will require some leaders who get it. Scripture Reading:       1Ti 2:1-3  The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.  (2)  Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation.  (3)  This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. Somebody Said:       There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.            — John Adams, Journal, 1772 In an era of political correctness, honesty is hard to find and dangerous to practice.  When most folks see government as the answer, it is difficult for those of us who see it as the problem.  We have a war, but we can’t name the enemy.  We have politicians committed to their party careers, not their nation.  In a time when we need God more than ever, politicians are afraid to mention Him, and the ideologues who do sound bitter and defensive.  Let’s take some time to pray for leaders.  They are out there somewhere, God knows.vls  



  1. At the moment,we may not see any one with the potential
    to be a great leader guided and led by the Holy Spirit.
    However, God is never caught off guard. He knew before
    the foundation of the world,whom he would use and anoint.
    Maybe we should start praising and thanking him before
    we see or know whom it may be, or whom we think it may be.
    Moses,Gideon,David come to mind. Check the scriptures,
    God always is ready to bring forth his choice when He is

  2. Character would probably fall into the mix here.

    Theodore Roosevelt– 26th president said, “Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.”

    Some people with no character can indeed lead. People with no character can do some amazing things and accomplish alot. But the substance of their life and of the lives of the people they impact is apparent in the long run.

    The character of leaders impact the character of those they lead and the character of the business, church, organization, or nation in the end. I want a leader that is a person of substance: loyal, honest, Godly morals, a person of integrity.

    john smith

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