Instruction for Leaders

Today’s reading:  2 Chronicles 19–20; Revelation 8; Zechariah 4; John 7

This week I was reading an article about delegation.  The author referenced some pretty shocking statistics from a London Business School professor.  He said only 30% of managers think they delegate well, and only 30% of this group’s subordinates agree that their boss is a good delegator.  By my math, 30% of 30% is only 9% of the population studied.  Assuming the sample used in this study can be applied against a broader population of managers, 9% is a disappointingly low percentage.  The author goes on to identify a variety of possible reasons for ineffective delegation, one of which is the manger’s inability to give clear assignments and set clear expectations (Zwilling, October 2013).  The article was interesting and had some good guidance on how to better employ the practice of delegation in your business.  While effective delegation is part of being a good manager, being a good manager doesn’t necessarily mean you are a good leader.

Today’s assigned reading in 2 Chronicles 19-20 provides an example of effective delegation by setting clear expectations.  It also gives insight into broader competencies of good, Godly leaders. The setting is the later part of King Jehoshaphat’s 25-year rule over Judah.  While Jehoshaphat made some poor choices, he was largely considered one of Judah’s greatest Kings.  Why?  It wasn’t just because he was good at his job, or even because he was prosperous. Rather, it was because of his faith and devotion to the Lord.  He was a good, Godly leader.

The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David before him. He did not consult the Baals but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel (2 Chronicles 17:3-4).

In Chronicles 19:5-10 we learn about one of the reforms Jehoshaphat made in Judah, which was to delegate some of his judicial responsibilities. Verse 8 tells us he selected capable men to serve as judges – Levites, priests and clan leaders.  Even so, he was compelled to provide specific instruction to help ensure they acted in accordance with God’s commandments.  Did you pay attention to verses 6-9?  The wisdom is timeless.  Jehoshaphat’s guidance applies to us every bit as much as it applied to judges in the 9th century B.C.  It isn’t simply about being a good delegator or a good manager.  It is about being a good, God honoring leader.  Bottom line – we are accountable to God for the authority we exercise.  While most of us will never be appointed a judge, hold a political office, or be the CEO of a fortune 500 company, we all exercise authority over someone.  Our decisions affect other people, and they matter to God.  As a result, each one of us should let these key principles guide our actions.

  • You are judging for God, not just for men – He told them, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. (2 Chronicles 19:6).
  • Be impartial and honest, as God is just – Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery” (2 Chronicles 19:7).
  • Fear the Lord, be committed to faithfully serve – He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord (2 Chronicles 19:9).

God has high standards. He expects our best, especially when we are leading others.  Think about what those you lead, your peers and your leaders would say about you.  Would they say you are wholeheartedly serving?  Would they say your words and actions are honest and just? Can they tell you answer to a higher power who is faithful and true?

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve (1 Peter 5:2).