Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Notes from the Quiet Time files - leadership version

My quest to read through the Bible in a year is still mostly on track, other than a two week black hole in April I'm trying valiantly to catch up on. At the moment I'm working through the reigns of various kings, closing in on the destruction of both the northern and southern kingdoms.

This last week I read 2 Chr 29:1-36, the account of Hezekiah, one of the last kings of Judah, one of the few good kings of either kingdom. (see also 2 Kings 18:1-6 for a bit more information). Dry history? No, rather an excellent primer on effective leadership.

1. Lead by personal example. See 2 Chr 29:2 - He did right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done. Never ask anyone else to do what you are unwilling to do yourself.

2. Don't wait when you see a problem with an easy fix - move forward on it. 2 Chr 29:3 - In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them.

3. Call together your key people and let them in on your plans - not only what you are going to do, but why - see 2 Chr 29:5-11. Hoarding information is not power, but the sign of ineffective, insecure leadership. The more your people know about the overall picture and how everyone contributes to the success of the task, the better they can perform.

4. Provide clear guidelines, a fair timeline and the tools to do the job. See 2 Chr 29:12-19. They knew what they had to do, had an idea how long it would take and assembled a crew with the necessary tools and expertise to accomplish the task.

5. Remove any known obstacles to success - see 2 Kings 18:4 - He removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah . He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it; and it was called Nehushtan . Hezekiah removed the pagan altars from the land, and destroyed anything could divert the people's worship from the One True God.

5. Celebrate a job well done. 2 Chr 29:31 - Then Hezekiah said, "Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the LORD, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the LORD " And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all those who were willing brought burnt offerings. 2 Chr 29:36 - Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had prepared for the people, because the thing came about suddenly.

Each new generation seems to struggle with making Scripture "relevant" to their own circumstances, attitudes and philosophies. I'm sorry - have they ever actually read any of it? Read with an intent to learn and understand, that is. Bah.

OK, I'm done preaching now. Go read some more in 2 Chronicles - Hezekiah's saga continues until the end of chapter 32, and is well worth reading.

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