SOMETIMES THERE IS NO BURNING BUSH…

A lot of people refuse to lead because they feel that they are not ready. Not enough training. Don’t have the experience. Not the right time just yet, maybe next time…

This is bad. But you know what is worse? When people who are already in leadership position refuse to lead because they too feel that they are not ready. They too feel that this is not the right time. These leaders too want confirmation before making a move.

There is nothing wrong with waiting. Everyone should spend some time to ask for confirmation, divine or otherwise. But we have a problem when everyone is just sitting around waiting for their ‘burning bush’ moment. People want leaders who lead even when there is no burning bush calling out to them.

For those of you not familiar with the story, God commissioned Moses to save the people of Israel through a burning bush. This is when a sheppard murderer became a prophet for the most high God. When Moses sees the burning bush and hears God’s voice, he says, “Here I am.”

Well, here’s the thing. Not everyone has a burning bush commission. In fact, as far as I know, Moses was the only one we know who hears God’s calling through a combustible plant. God calls people in so many other ways. And sometimes, he calls us in a very subtle gentle way. Whether God calls us through divine miracles or through the gentlest of whispers, our reply should be the same. Here I am…

1 TIMOTHY 4.12-16 (NIV)

11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

BE WHO YOU ARE

Paul reminded Timothy that he did not need to be as brilliant or as mature as Paul. It’s true that Timothy is young. But it is also true that God has commissioned him through the prophecy and laying of the hands of his church leaders. And in the end, God’s commission and gifts are superior to other people’s standard and expectancy. God has called Timothy to lead this church and that is all that matter. He is the pastor. He is the leader. So just lead because leaders lead.

Instead of wishing to be someone else, we need to work harder to be who we are. You are you and for some reason your spouse wants to marry you, the hospital released your children to you, and God has commissioned to lead where you are now. So stop waiting for a divine revelation and just be a better spouse because you are the spouse, just be a good parent because you are a parent, and just lead because you are the leader!

It is no accident that God has made us the way we are and put us in the position we are currently in. God does not make mistakes. He puts you here for a reason. So do not try to be someone else or wishing someone else better, wiser, and stronger is in charge. Just be who you are!

DO WHAT YOU DO

So what was Paul’s brilliant plan to help Timothy gain the respect of his church? He told him to do his job. Preach from Scripture, teach what Jesus has taught us, and live a good life. That’s it.

You see, the people had wanted more. They want a more sophisticated teaching. This is not Tarsus. This is not backwater Jerusalem. Ephesus was the third largest city in the world. Is it too much to ask for a more refined and sophisticated pastor? Someone who knows more about Jewish festivals and genealogies? Someone who can lead an after dinner symposium and engage the sceptics and philosophers? Or at least someone who can be more interesting when he speaks instead of putting us to sleep?

But Paul did not tell Timothy to go to philosophy class or attend take speech lessons. Paul did not ask one of his Jewish teachers to come to Ephesus to help Timothy improve on his advance level Torah knowledge. Paul did not tell him to do any of these things. Instead, Paul told Timothy to do what he was supposed to do as a pastor and everything would be fine.

All of us wonder how things could be so much better if we know more, if we have extra skills, or if we have relationships with more people. If we could just cover that one weakness, then we would be unstoppable. And so many of us put things on hold until we can do that elusive thing that would make us the best of the best.

But the reason you are where you are is so that you can do what you do. That’s what’s important. That’s what necessary. Listen: keep improving. Always want to do better and to know more. But not if it means that you have to stop doing what you do. Do what you do and let others do what they need to do.

JUST LEAD

So leaders, here’s what nobody told you in business schools: just lead. Don’t wait for signs from heaven. Don’t be intimidated that you still don’t know everything. You have the authority, so just lead.

Wait, what authority? Don’t you know that authority is an important theme in the Bible?

From the very beginning of Genesis, we have been a mandate to go and rule over all of creations. Jesus tells us that all authority on heaven and earth have been given to him right before he commissioned us to go make disciples wherever we go. And in the end, the book of Revelations clearly tells us that we will rule and reign with him. Reign. Rule. Lead. That’s what we do because that’s who we are.

So stop waiting for your burning bush. Don’t wait for people to finally accept you as their leader. And don’t even worry that you don’t know how to do certain things yet. Stop wishing for someone else better and smarter to take over. You are the leader. Be who you are. Do what you do. Just lead.