Monday, November 3, 2008

When Kings Go Out

First, this is not about the election tomorrow. If you haven't already... vote! 'Nuff said.

As I march through the years of life, certain phrases -- most, but not all from Scripture -- stick in my mind. Consider, "Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab..." (2 Samuel 11:1 NASB) David was getting older, he had paid the price of many battles, his nation was more secure and ever and it just wouldn't do to have him killed out there. So he stayed home and send General Joab.

Uh-oh.

Joab was a gifted leader and totally loyal. He was a master strategist. He was on top of a world-class winning streak.

Uh-oh.

Joab had the troops he needed and cutting-edge armaments for the battle. He understood that wars are won over a season rather than a day. He was ready to serve his country and his king.

Uh-oh.

You see, the problem wasn't with Joab. It was with David, back home. David's army was at war and the King was home quite comfortable. Relaxed. Enjoying a cool evening stroll on his large, flat roof. The wife of one of his finest officers -- her name was Bathsheba -- was on the rooftop a short distance away. Bathing.

Uh-oh.

I got a call from our Missions Team leader late yesterday afternoon. He scheduled an unexpected meeting first thing Monday morning. One of the leaders within the ministry needed some input about a project and Mark called me to ask about how to handle it. We talked through a strategy and Mark immediately took his next step. Yayyy!

In the middle of the call, I faced a small dilemma. Do I move into the middle of this tactical situation or do I stay on the sidelines while General Mark takes the lead? I chose to sit. Mark is doing a great job and keeps growing.

I make more decisions like this all the time. I'm grateful for the growth in all of us. It's a temptation for us pastors to remain in the front. Because of my age and my growing awareness that I don't have the emotional stamina to carry the load I am responsible for, I try to do more and more coaching from the sidelines.

I'm not naive, though. King David was called "a man after God's own heart." He discovered that "uh-oh" can be far closer than you think.

Dear God, please help me walk in the balance between mentoring and doing as I go through my week. Amen.

5 comments:

Jose said...

Thank God for Pastors like you that make us leaders grow and mature by our errors sometimes.

addhumorandfaith said...

Isn't the best leader the one who is constantly mentoring others to become good leaders? Nothing is sadder than a good leader who leaves a huge void when he's gone because he didn't encourage leadership in others.

RMc said...

I'm finding it much more difficult to keep my mouth shut and my hands in my pockets while someone else does something that needs doing than it is for me to jump in with both feet... But I know it is better for both of us that I stay out of the way. And I still don't like it...

RMc said...

After my first comment hit the airwaves, a second thought hit.

David wasn't close enough to the action for Joab to ask questions and receive any kind of meaningful feedback. It makes more sense for the king to advise more and swing the sword less in my humble opinion (IMHO).

Sam said...

Well put, RMc. Thanks for adding clarity to my thoughts.