Archive | March 2015

Leadership Lessons Daily: Day 81

Scripture Passage: Numbers 16:1-3
No One Rebels Alone
When Korah, Dathan and Abiram, rose up against Moses in rebellion, the Bible says, “and they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: and they gathered themselves together against Moses.” These were no mean men; they were the dignitaries in the congregation.
The lesson here is this; no one rebels alone. Rebels always require supporters and rebels always have supporters. Surprisingly, those who support rebellion are usually those close to the leader, or those at the top of the food chain. Therefore, rebellion has nothing to do with position but everything to do with character.
Prayer: Father, help me to be a leader and not a rebel.

Leadership Lessons Daily: Day 80

Scripture Passage: Numbers 16:1-3
Rebels Want the Perks that Come with Leading
Three men, namely, Korah, Dathan and Abiram, took men and rose up against Moses in rebellion. They said, “Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, everyone of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?” These men were in Egypt under oppression but never confronted Pharaoh, neither did they accuse Moses as he daily stood before Pharaoh demanding the release of Israel from Egypt. At that point they were happy to have Moses lead them.
The lesson here is this; rebels do not want the challenges that come with leading, just the perks. They look at the leader and all they see are the privileges he enjoys; they fail to see the responsibility he shoulders and if they do, they want none of it. This is why Korah, Dathan and Abiram never rose up against Moses in Egypt. This is why no rebel will make an effective leader.
Prayer: Father, remove rebellion far from me.

Leadership Lessons Daily: Day 79

Scripture Passage: Numbers 14:1-4
Leaders Take People Forward or Backward
Following the negative report given by ten of the twelve spies Moses sent to survey the land of Canaan, the children of Israel decided to return to Egypt. They said, “Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” One leader had brought them out of bondage and now they required another leader to take them back into bondage.
The lesson here is this; in whichever way people decide to go (forward or backward) they will need and they will seek a leader. In whichever direction people decide to go, there is a leader to take them there. Leaders never leave people where they meet them, they move them forward or backward. What kind of leader are you and in which direction are you moving your team or organisation?
Prayer: Father, help me to be a leader that takes people forward.

Leadership Lessons Daily: Day 78

Scripture Passage: Matthew 20:20-22
Those Who Seek to Share the Leader’s Glory Must Partake of the Leader’s Story
The mother of James and John, sons of Zebedee, once paid Jesus a surprise visit. She had a request to make. She said, “Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.” Jesus said to her; “Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptised with the baptism that I am baptised with?” While she spoke of partaking of His glory, He spoke of partaking of His story. In other words, loyalty.
The lesson here is this; those who seek to share the leader’s glory, must be ready to be partakers of the leader’s story. If you can’t handle the story, you can’t partake of the glory. Wise leaders first promote those who stayed with them through their trials.
Prayer: Father, help me to identify and reward those who stay loyal to my vision.

Leadership Lessons Daily: Day 77

Scripture Passage: Numbers 13:26-33; 14:1-10
The Leader Must Manage Information Wisely
Moses sent twelve men to spy the land of Canaan. When they returned, without privately hearing their report, he allowed them speak to the entire congregation. Ten said, “And there we saw the giants…..and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” Caleb said, “We are well able to overcome it,” however, the ten men insisted, “We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.” Their report threw the entire congregation into chaos; the people wanted to appoint a leader and return to Egypt. They spoke of stoning Moses and Aaron. This may have been prevented if Moses heard the report first.
The lesson here is this; not everyone needs to know everything every time, especially if they are unable to handle it. Information must be managed and disseminated only on a need-to-know basis. This is not to deceive the people but to prevent the outbreak of panic and chaos as described in the passages read.
Prayer: Father, give me wisdom to manage information within my team or organisation.

Leadership Lessons Daily: Day 76

Scripture Passage: Numbers 13:6-30
Our View of Situations is Based on Our Self-Perception
Twelve men were sent to spy the land of Canaan. Ten of them said,”And there we saw the giants…..and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” Two had a different opinion and one said, “Let us go up at once and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” The situation was the same; there were giants in the land. However, their view of the situation was different because their self-perception was different.
The lesson here is this; your self-perception will affect your view of situations. If your self-perception is negative, you will not see the good in any situation. If your self-perception is positive, you will only see the good in every situation. What you see precedes what you become; therefore, change your self-perception and you will change your life.
Prayer: Father, help me to see myself the way you see me.

Leadership Lessons Daily: Day 75

Scripture Passage: Numbers 13:6-30
Never Underestimate Yourself
Moses sent out twelve men to spy the land of Canaan. He wanted to have a proper picture of land and what they were to expect as they prepared to possess it. These men went away for forty days and returned with a report. While two of the men had a positive report, ten of them said,”And there we saw the giants…..and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”
The lesson here is this; as a leader, you must never underestimate yourself, because others see you as you see yourself. If you underestimate yourself they will underestimate you. Therefore, change the wrong image you have of yourself. Start seeing yourself as God sees you. Caleb did and he said, “we are well able.” This is the truth. You are always able unless you say otherwise.
Prayer: Father, give me a right picture of myself.

Leadership Lessons Daily: Day 74

Scripture Passage: Numbers 12:1-10
Leaders Require a Large Heart to Forgive
God punished Miriam for speaking against Moses, yet Moses cried to God on her behalf saying, “heal her now, O God, I beesech thee.” She had offended him, but he prayed for her. He was able to pray for her because he had forgiven her.
The lesson here is this; leaders must have a large heart to forgive offences. The truth is that when you lead people, they will offend you more often than not. If a leader can’t forgive, he will hold grudges and constantly look for ways to settle the score. This will negatively affect his relationship with those he leads and ultimately destroy the vision. When discord entered the relationship of those who built the tower of Babel, they immediately abandoned the work; in other words, vision abolished.
Prayer: Father, give me a heart to forgive those I lead.

Leadership Lessons from the Life of a Great Mother: Susanna Wesley

Susanna Wesley was the mother of prominent Methodist preachers, John Wesley and Charles Wesley. Her life is a pointer to the fact that greatness and leadership begin at home. Today, she is a woman globally recognised but interestingly, she never had a job or title or position of influence in society. She was just a mother. However, because she had a deep understanding of this role and its importance to the society, she did not take it lightly, and today the world recognises her, as the mother of two great men.
Sadly, many look down on the job of being a mother (many do not even recognise it as a job to begin with). They give their time and attention to becoming executives of global corporations and delegate maternal duties to the paid help. With this attitude to mothering, is it any wonder that we produce, drug addicts, rapists, and gang members instead of the kind of children Susanna Wesley produced?
As we celebrate Mother’s Day 2015, I call all mothers, myself included, to remember that our priority ought to be, God first, family second and career third. If this is not the case, then it is time to re-prioritise. What joy is there in having children whose disgraceful behaviour destroy all we have laboured for years to build?
Below is a brief summary of the life of the great woman and mother, Susanna Wesley, taken from Wikipedia. After reading her story, I feel sure that you will agree that she is a good example to all mothers and would-be-mothers and certainly the right case study for Mother’s Day Celebration 2015.
Susanna Wesley (20 January 1669 – 23 July 1742), born Susanna Annesley, was the daughter of Dr. Samuel Annesley and Mary White, and the mother of John and Charles Wesley.
“…although she never preached a sermon or published a book or founded a church, (she) is known as the Mother of Methodism. Why? Because two of her sons, John Wesley and Charles Wesley, as children consciously or unconsciously will, applied the example and teachings and circumstances of their home life.”[1]
Susanna Wesley was the 25th of 25 children. Her father, Dr. Samuel Annesley, was a dissenter of the established church of England. At the age of 13, Susanna stopped attending her father’s church and joined the official Church of England.
She and Samuel Wesley were married on 11 November 1688. Samuel was 26 and Susanna was 19.[2]
Susanna and Samuel Wesley had 19 children. Nine of her children died as infants. Four of the children who died were twins. A maid accidentally smothered one child. At her death, only eight of her children were still alive.
Susanna experienced many hardships throughout her life. Her husband left her and the children for over a year because of a minor dispute.
To her absent husband, Susanna Wesley wrote:
I am a woman, but I am also the mistress of a large family. And though the superior charge of the souls contained in it lies upon you, yet in your long absence I cannot but look upon every soul you leave under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust. I am not a man nor a minister, yet as a mother and a mistress I felt I ought to do more than I had yet done. I resolved to begin with my own children; in which I observe the following method: I take such a proportion of time as I can spare every night to discourse with each child apart. On Monday I talk with Molly, on Tuesday with Hetty, Wednesday with Nancy, Thursday with Jacky, Friday with Patty, Saturday with Charles.
Samuel Wesley spent time in jail twice due to his poor financial abilities, and the lack of money was a continual struggle for Susanna. Their house was burned down twice; during one of the fires, her son, John, nearly died and had to be rescued from the second story window. She was the primary source of her children’s education.
After the second fire, Susanna was forced to place her children into different homes for nearly two years while the rectory was rebuilt. During this time, the Wesley children lived under the rules of the homes they lived in. Susanna was mortified that her children began to use improper speech and play more than study.
“Under no circumstances were the children permitted to have any lessons until they had reached their fifth year, but the day after their fifth birthday their formal education began. They attended classes for six hours and on the very first day they were supposed to learn the whole of the alphabet. All her children except two managed this feat, and these seemed to Susanna to be very backward.”[3] “The children got a good education. Daughters included, they all learnt Latin and Greek and were well tutored in the classical studies that were traditional in England at that time.”[4]
During a time when her husband was in London, defending a friend against charges of heresy, he had appointed a locum to bring the message. The man’s sermons revolved solely around repaying debts. The lack of diverse spiritual teaching caused Susanna to assemble her children Sunday afternoon for family services. They would sing a psalm and then Susanna would read a sermon from either her husband’s or father’s sermon file followed by another psalm. The local people began to ask if they could attend. At one point there were over two hundred people who would attend Susanna’s Sunday afternoon service while the Sunday morning service dwindled to nearly nothing.[5]
Wesley practised daily devotions throughout her life, and in her reply to her son Charles’s letter, she addressed her experience of the depravity of her human nature, and the grace of God. The letter also shows that she has been fully awakened to the spiritual enjoyments for many years, with which her sons were only recently made acquainted.[6]
Her husband Samuel spent his whole life and all of the family’s finances on his exegetical work of the Book of Job. However, his work was not remembered and had little impact on his family other than as a hardship. In contrast Susanna wrote several pieces that would be fundamental in the education of their children. “In addition to letters, Susanna Wesley wrote meditations and scriptural commentaries for her own use. She wrote extended commentaries on the Apostles Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments. Alas many of these were lost in the rectory fire, but many survive. The most accessible means to her writings is Charles Wallace’s excellent and important Susanna Wesley, Her Collected Writings.”[1]
Leadership Lessons from the Life of Susanna Wesley are as follows;
Great mothers understand that a great mother is recognised by the achievements of her children. She cannot be called a great mother unless she has great children. Therefore, she does everything in her power to ensure that her children get a sound foundation in their formative years to enable them become the people they were created to be. Then she sits back with a smile in her later years as her children take their “thrones” and she is referred to as the mother of such and such.
Great mothers understand that a great child is not wished for but worked for. Our children will become not what we desire that they become, but what we consciously work for them to become. Great children are created through quality time and prayers, right words (which are prayers in themselves), right daily practices which become habits and form a strong character which is required to hold up a destiny of greatness.
Great mothers are not those who have never experienced loss; no, great mothers are those who do not allow their loses stop their vision. They mourn the loss of a child but bounce back to care for the children that are alive. They understand that what has been lost cannot be recovered and move on to salvage what remains from loss.
Great mothers understand that to bring change to the society they must begin with their children. Great leaders begin leading first themselves and those immediately within their sphere of influence. Susanna understood this so instead of trying to impact others, she began by impacting her children and that impact went far because her children went on to make an impact on their generation. And though they have been dead many years, that impact still speaks.
Great mothers spend quality time with their children. To talk with them, understand them and pray with them. They understand that this is an important part of a child’s development and cannot be replaced with anything. They also recognise that this is a task that cannot be delegated.
Great mothers place value on good education for all their children. They know that if a child will go far in life, the right education is necessary. They do not leave this process of educating the child entirely up to the educational institutes but understand they have a major role to play. Susanna was the primary source of her children’s education.
Great mothers do not make others responsible for the spiritual nourishment of their children. No, not the pastor, not the Sunday school teacher, and not the Christian school. They understand that God has called them to do more than just take their children where the word of God is taught. That God requires that they teach His word to their children according to His commandment in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 which says; “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” When Susanna realised that there was a lack of diverse spiritual teaching, she assembled her children for Sunday afternoon services.
In conclusion, I will say this; when the going gets tough, tough mothers rise up and get going (with or without money and with or without a husband by their side). And when fathers fail to shoulder their God given responsibilities, great mothers rise up to shoulder the same.They have challenges, sometimes more than others, but they rise above each one to become great mothers of great children.
Happy Mother’s Day 2015!!!
Eturuvie Erebor

Leadership Lessons Daily: Day 73

Scripture Passage: Numbers 12:1-10
No Leader Delights in the Suffering of His Followers
Miriam and Aaron sinned against Moses when they spoke against him. God rebuked them verbally and left Miriam covered in leprosy. When Aaron saw this, he turned to Moses and pleaded for mercy for Miriam. Moses was the offended party and he should have been pleased that God had acted on his behalf but he wasn’t. The Bible says, “And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, heal her now, O God, I beesech thee.” She had offended him, yes, but he had no pleasure in seeing her suffer.
The lesson here is this; no true leader delights in the suffering of his people not even when that suffering is as a result of offending him. He loves his people and so their pain is his pain. A boss or taskmaster may delight in seeing those who work for him suffer but no true leader is happy when his people suffer, no matter what they may have done wrong.
Prayer: Father, give me a heart to love those I lead.