What we “see” in our leaders

O my lord, I am not a man of words, neither yesterday nor before that, nor even in your speaking to your servant, for I am sluggish of mouth and sluggish of tongue. 

– Moses, Exodus 4:10

So, they say, my letters are weighty and strong but my bodily presence is weak and my speech appalling. 

– Paul, 2 Corinthians 10:10

These two great men, absolutely pivotal figures in the biblical story, readily admit that they don’t provide the allure of eloquence or embody a strong charisma.

And in our day, as Ben Witherington says, “We take the America’s Got Talent approach to deciding who does what in worship” (We Have Seen His Glory: A Vision of Kingdom Worship, 40). Yep. And some of our largest churches are pastored by people who could’ve fallen back on standup comedy. That’s not a coincidence.

As Paige Brown points out, what are the first (and heaven forbid, only) observations we make when evaluating people for ministry positions?

“She’s so darlin’!” “He’s so sharp.” “They are just so good in front of people?”

What about … Paige says … “Do they pray?” “Does she repent?” “Is he confrontable?” “Is she sacrificial with her time and with her money?” “Does he weep?”

These two great men, apparently lacking everything that we look for in our leaders. (Other records indicate that Paul may have been just downright unattractive).

What is it about them that made them God’s leaders?

Yahweh does not see what man sees. For man sees the appearance but Yahweh sees the heart.

-Yahweh, 1 Samuel 16:7


2 comments on “What we “see” in our leaders

  1. Cole says:

    That hits home. Maybe that is partially why some of us introverts/lack of a high self-esteem folk wrestle with whether or not we can do ministry in the Church.

  2. wyatttharris says:

    This issue is a big struggle for me (in reference to cole’s comment). I appreciate your observations/thoughts Nathan!

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