Hakuna Matata (Swahili phrase): there are no troubles
Can you guess what has inspired this post? Go on, take a guess. I'll wait :) You're right! I just finished watching the live action remake of Lion King and could not wait to write down everything that it inspired me to think about. First of all, I have to say, it was a great movie and took me back to my childhood. It had been a while since I watched the original so I felt like I almost had that 'watching this for the first time' feeling as well as the 'wow, this movie is teaching me so many things' feeling. Anyway, there was a specific theme I picked up throughout the movie and this was around LEADERSHIP. As a HR Professional who is also in ministry, I have a few different perspectives on leadership and what it takes to be successful and believe that leadership always involves evolution. This can come from learning opportunities or making a conscious effort to be who God has called you to be.
I have read SOOOOO many articles, books, listened to podcasts and teachings about leadership and still feel like it is never enough because you can never stop learning. There is a reason God puts us through so many trials; it's to ensure we continue to learn so we can grow. What I hadn't given much thought to is the fact that there are some lessons we learn a few times because the tests come in different forms and it is only with wisdom that we can recognise and pass these tests without too many cuts and bruises. There are some examples we can pick from the Bible about leadership which I thought of as I watched the movie. Here is what I picked up from the movie tonight:
Leaders must be learners: Paul was a leader to many and in his letters, he would always share teachings that the churches were to learn from. The books of Timothy especially reveal Paul's role as a mentor and highlight how necessary it is for young leaders to have someone in the faith they can look up to. Now when I say someone, I don't mean just anyone. They would need to be a Godly person who is able to provide Godly counsel. Young leaders, especially those starting out in ministry, need a Jethro to their Moses who can provide wise counsel. There are many Simbas, destined for greatness, who listen to the likes of Scar and end up making the wrong decisions and losing their way.
Leaders need discernment & wisdom: I cannot stress this enough. I have put these two together because I pray for both on a daily basis. It is important to me who I listen to, and share my inner thoughts and dreams with. Discernment can help us to surround ourselves with the right people who can help us fulfil purpose. After demising his parents advice and going after Delilah, Samson put his destiny in the hands of someone who had no business being in his life. Although God granted him strength for one final task, I'm sure everyone who reads that story cannot help but wonder how things would've turned out if Samson never met Delilah. I believe Solomon had wisdom even before he prayed for it because only a wise person would've recognised the importance of wisdom and prayed for more of it!
Leaders must be courageous: God repeatedly assures Joshua, be strong and courageous. In life, there are some battles we face that seem hopeless and without victory. What's even harder than that, is leading a group of people who are facing that battle. That is what Joshua faced. Taking the promised land from a group of people who seemed like giants to them. David and Goliath; David's courage came from his faith in the same God who gave him strength to protect his sheep. There are so many examples of courage being displayed in the Bible, which we need to encourage us. Without courage, we will never enter the battlefield and without the battle, we will never experience victory.
Leaders must be humble: THIS! I learn this on a daily basis and this needs to be lesson number 1, for young leaders especially. I have seen many leaders, both young and old, boast of the gifts they have, thinking themselves above others and running into trouble. Humility is what allows us to seek opportunities to learn and places us in God's presence daily because we know that God resists the proud. Simba's pride about his future as king contributed to the envy that followed him and the plot to kill him. Pride is what led Samson to his capture and death. Pride ALWAYS goes before the fall...
Leaders must LOVE: I saved the best for last. Any leader who does not love cannot call themselves a leader. I'm talking the kind of love that the Bible describes as long suffering, kind, not envious, not proud, not selfish, not rude, not evil, without iniquity, truthful, believing, loyal and hopeful. That kinda love. Love is what drives all the attributes I have described above. Love is what led God to make the ultimate sacrifice, setting a great example for us to follow.
Oh by the way, did I mention how much I love Lions!!! :)