reluctant leader?

I was reading Steve McCoy’s blog and he has another intriguing quote today.

Today’s quote is from Leading With a Limp by Dan Allender:

We should bless men and women who have done their level best to escape leadership but who have been compelled to return and put their hand on the tiller. We should expect anyone who remains in a formal leadership context to experience repeated bouts of flight, doubt, surrender, and return. Why would this be God’s plan? Why does God love the reluctant leader? Here is one reason: the reluctant leader is not easily seduced by power, pride, or ambition.

Dan Allender in Leading With a Limp, p18.

what about this concept? I have to tell you that the first biblical example of reluctant leader (someone who did their best to run away) to come into my head was Saul. The second was Jonah.

Saul ended up holding on to power so tightly that he repeatedly tried to kill God’s anointed successor to the throne and chasing him all over the desert to kill him. Jonah ended up reluctantly going to preach to Nineveh complaining after they repented that he knew they would do so and that he wanted God to kill them and not show mercy and that is why he ran away in the first place.

Saul was definitely seduced by power pride and ambition even though he, at first, tried to run away from his responsibility. I have always seen his hiding at the beginning as being the first manifestation of the crippling self doubt that led to the early sacrifice while waiting for Samuel, the failure to wipe out all of the Amalekites livestock as he had been instructed, and eventually the seeking of advice from a fortune teller after losing touch with God.

Surely, Dan Allender must have another example in mind. Maybe Elijah? running away from Jezebel, but going back when God told him to do so? Who else could he be thinking of? Ezra and Nehemiah seemed to stay on task once they undertook to do so. No biblical evidence that either one of them was seduced by power, pride or ambition. David ran away a lot, but it was to save his life, not trying to escape leadership responsibility. He was seduced by power, pride and ambition; at least partly.

I guess I can keep thinking about this in the abstract or get the book and find out what Dan is thinking.



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