KEEPING THE VISION ALIVE

Very little is as exciting and motivating as receiving a call to leadership. Take Moses, for example. After tending his father-in-law’s sheep for forty years, he received a call from God at the Burning Bush:

“So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10)

Long, well-known story short, Moses ended up leading the people out of Egypt, through the Red Sea and on to Mount Sinai and beyond…to the very boarders of the Promised Land.

And yet, it was not long before the euphoria of escaping from Egypt gave way to legislating about mildew appearing on the walls of houses (Leviticus 14:43), swellings and scabs and shiny spots on people’s skin (Leviticus 13:3), and women’s menstrual cycles (Leviticus 15:19-33). The reality is, Moses’ experience is quite familiar to those of us who are in leadership positions. We start with the call to lead God’s people and end up, all-too-soon bogged down in the unglamorous trivia of hearing about mildew on walls and boils on backsides! It is a common experience of leadership that we find ourselves less and less involved in bold moves forward, taking ground from the enemy and marching on to the promised land, and more and more involved in unglamorous, frustrating ‘trivia’. We didn’t sign up to deal with mildew on walls!

The descent from the heights of ‘bring my people out of Egypt’ to identifying and legislating over different types of boils accounts for far more people stepping out of leadership than outright opposition or persecution.

It could be that, as you assess your own leadership role in the light of this, you discover that all you are really doing is trying to sort out ‘mildew’ situations, and you realise that  somehow you have lost that sense of forward momentum, of clarity and calling. Sorting out the ‘mildew situations’ is  an inevitable part of leadership – but it should not define you as a leader, neither should it be allowed to cause the flame of the original vision to be snuffed out. 

How did Moses keep the vision alive? 

He built in ‘balancing moments’.  Moses was being steadily ground-down by hearing all the complaints and problems that the people brought to him each day (Exodus 18:13). This brought about a draining  imbalance in his life – a steady diet of complaints, criticism  and crises. It took his father-in-law to point out the need  for a healthier balance to his life.  He recognised that the big steps forward were made  possible by being faithful in the small, seemingly less important details. 

“Therefore, obey the terms of this covenant so that you  will prosper in everything you do.”

(Deuteronomy 29:9)

Be faithful in the small things and God will bless you in the big  things. It is a fundamental mistake in leadership to overlook the seemingly boring, mundane issues in favour of focussing solely on the soaring, lofty vision.

Moses was  faithful in the ‘mildew moments’ because he understood  the importance of getting those moments right in terms of  how they open up the way for the big vision to be  achieved.  He trusted that, even when the ‘mildew moments’  threatened to overwhelm the sense of vision and purpose, God was still faithful to that vision and would  see it fulfilled. 

“And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand  to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to  you as a possession. I am the LORD.’”

(Exodus 6:8)

God promised it, and so Moses knew it would be fulfilled. He  kept that promise in his heart throughout his long leadership journey. 

“It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not  fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because  he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.”

(Hebrews  11:27

How are you going to keep the vision alive, despite the  realities of everyday leadership?

Everyday
leadership is
often more
about frustrating
trivia than faithfilled
strides
forward - but
they don’t have
to grind us down

Learning the lessons:
The lessons of balance:
List three practical steps you can take to make sure that you are getting the balance right:

The lesson of attention to detail:
List three practical steps you can take to make sure that you are getting the attention to
detail right:

The lesson of trust:
List three practical steps you can take to make sure that you are not lacking in trust as a leader:

Let’s keep praying (and leading others to pray) for:
• The ongoing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic

• The war in Ukraine

• The 1-in-7 Christian believers in this world who are being persecuted for their faith.