When it comes to leadership and learning how to lead others a great place to start is the Bible and what the Bible has to say about leadership qualities. The Bible is full of great leaders that we can learn from, both from their strengths and their weaknesses. One of the great leaders of the Bible is Joshua. Joshua is an interesting character in that he followed one of the most well-known leaders Moses. Following someone with the stature of Moses is an incredibly daunting feat, but one that Joshua faced head-on with no hesitation.
One of the first things that is evident about Joshua is that he was preparing to be a great leader before his time even came. Part of being a great leader is the road that it took to get there in the first place. Leaders are not born leaders; they train and prepare to become the leaders that they are. Leadership qualities are developed and nurtured over time. We see in the book of Numbers in chapter fourteen that Joshua was one of two who came back and gave an encouraging optimistic report on the land. Even before his time as a leader, (Joshua is not inaugurated as the leader until chapter 27) Joshua knew of the importance of each step along the way. God saw in Joshua the characteristics of someone who could follow in the footsteps of Moses. Being a good leader starts way before you take the place of a leader. You can lead from below depending on the situation you find yourself in, and it seems Joshua did just that. He knew the importance of trusting in God and being an encourager. How about you? In your current position what can you be doing or working on that can prepare you to be a better leader? Now is the time to step up and realize the potential of the current moment!
Another thing that we learn about leadership from Joshua is that being a good leader requires courage. Moses at the inauguration of Joshua told him to be strong and of good courage and God multiple times throughout the leadership of Joshua relayed the same message. When you see themes or ideas or phrases repeated in the Bible it points to the importance of what is said. Apparently, God and Moses thought it was important to remind Joshua constantly to be strong and of good courage. Why is this so important? When faced with opposition or those who might stand up against you, will you have the courage to stand up to these people? When faced with opposition, a good leader knows how to approach that situation and become stronger.
Lastly, Joshua knew that part of a good leader was letting God be your guide and your source of courage. Joshua showed steadfast faith in the Lord, the God of Israel. Even when the odds were stacked up against them Joshua remained faithful to the Lord. An example of this is Joshua’s encounter with the city of Jericho. God had told the children of Israel to march around the city seven times and the walls would fall. This could have very easily been seen as silly in the sight of Joshua and he could have chosen to go about facing Jericho a different way. However, we see that Joshua trusted God and his word. He trusted that what God said would come to pass and trusted God’s judgment over his own. He did not let his ego or greed get in his way, but rather remained a diligent leader, that knew who was ultimately in control. Can we say the same? As leaders of our family and maybe within secular jobs who is in control and who are you aiming to please? God or man?
Leadership is a topic that is covered thoroughly within the pages of the Bible. If we are striving to be better leaders, we should look to God’s word and the examples and commandments that are left behind. One such example of a great leader is Joshua. Following in the footsteps of Moses may have been seen as a disadvantage to many, but Joshua went on to be one of the better examples of leadership that we see within Scripture. Hopefully, the things we have learned can help us to develop into great leaders for God today!