- Next-generation leadership development failure - Like his sudo-adopted dad, Eli, Samuel fails in raising his children to carry the leadership baton. We read in 8:3: "But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice." Developing leaders of one's own kids appears to be a real challenge. Maybe this is due to being blinded by love for one's own? Maybe it's due to being focused on leading others outside the home at the sacrifice of the necessary investment inside? I'm not sure as I don't have experience raising children. That said, amongst our families and friends, we do have people we can ask when that time comes. I have personally known leaders who elect their children to positions of leadership even though they hadn't proven their capacity to handle the position. I also can think of some family friends that I have the upmost respect for as they have three raised adult children who are independent and actively serving and leading in the Kingdom.
- Integrity - As Samuel is giving his farewell, he asks the people: "Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the LORD and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these things, I will make it right." The people's response: "You have not cheated or oppressed us. You have not taken anything from anyone's hand." There were no grounds to charge Samuel with un-honest gain. He was in the clear because he lived with integrity. What a great way to end.
- Praying for the flock - Samuel understood that one of his core responsibilities as a leader was to pray for those he led. As he's stepping down, he states, "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right." Praying is first base, but how quick I am to breeze by it. Samuel is a good reminder that no matter how old or experienced, this is foundational to our leadership.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I'm still plunking away at 1 Samuel in Spanish, and wanted to record a few notes about Samuel's leadership: