Tag: Leadership

Follow the Leader

Written by: Wilma Luimes

“No. You can’t play. I am the boss of this game.” Johnny shouts. Sarah turns away dejected. It’s standard ‘modus operandi’ on playgrounds around the world. The struggle for power, status and prestige. Johnny declares a new game. “Follow the leader,” he announces. Those who are ‘not allowed’ to play watch from a distance. And all the other boys and girls line up behind Johnny in their full stature of Velcro shoes, pigtails, ribbons, cartoon crested t-shirts and begin their march around the playground, over the monkey bars, through the tunnel… And for a while, all the children are enjoying the new game.

Eventually, Tommy is brave enough to ask, isn’t it time for someone else to be the leader? Tommy kicks his new sneaker against the ground impatiently.“No!” Johnny shouts. “I am the leader.” Tommy looks around disgruntled and continues playing for a few minutes but eventually goes off with a ball to go and play soccer instead. A few of the other ‘followers’ join him; leaving the line much shorter than when the game began.

A short while later, Christine takes a few of her friends out of the line to go and play with a skipping rope. Soon ‘the boss’ mentality leaves Johnny all alone on the playground. Ironically often organisations don’t behave much different. The predominant male belief that ‘we are the boss of this church’… is an echo that has and still reverberates from many a church building through the ages with a blatant disregard for the fruit that spirit produces. And while the male-dominated spirit is still prevalent in many a church today, somehow, I seriously doubt that God agrees on the outcomes… because when it’s about power, status and prestige; God is not in it!

The love has disappeared.

And often the difference between good leadership and great leadership is the ability to know when to step forward and when to step back!

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Women, You are Called

Women, You are Called

Written by: Wilma Luimes

I love the bible story of Deborah. For starters, it’s all about women’s leadership, for she was both a prophetess and the leader of Israel as a Judge, which historically in the Jewish tradition was a military leader, (Deborah 4:4) for more than forty years. Incidentally, she was also the wife of Lappidoth. I cannot help but note that God’s mandate to go to war did not come via Lappidoth, dare I question it; the “head of the home”? Just sayin’…(☺)!

Clearly God’s divine gifting is individually allocated and different between husband and wife; gifting that is aligned with our individual callings and God-given purposes for which we will account to our Creator, not to our spouses. That said, Lappidoth interests me. Clearly he was a man whose understanding of divine calling was rather different than the average man, for his culture embraced and endorsed a wide gender divide. By virtue of his wife’s role in the country, he was a man who understood the benefits of allowing his wife to operate in her God-given giftings which were:

  • Peace both in his home and in his country; literally… she led an army out to war and when the battle was won “the land had peace for forty years” (Judges 5:31).
  • Access to godly wisdom as God spoke directly to his wife and she was humble enough to listen and be used by Him.
  • An awareness that the calling over his wife’s life would never be detrimental to him as her partner, but would be a rich source of blessing.
  • The benefits of a partnership that used the strengths of both parties to better everyone’s lives, including their own.

This story reminds us that God’s victory is given not to those who have been commissioned to go but to those who respond to the sender and step out in faith. And in this case, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that the men who had been sent would not be given the victory; the victory would belong to the women who responded to His call. She [Deborah] sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. 7 I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.” Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go. “Certainly, I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honour will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. There Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him.(Deborah 4:6-10 NIV)

The lack of women’s leadership within the church and society is a two-fold problem.

There is a culture that has been created to stifle women’s growth within the church and elsewhere called patriarchy. That is a given. But there is also a culture among many women of complacency and contentment with that lot. Notice that both of the scenarios are not God’s intention for gender relations between men and women. Again we all need to be reminded ‘God’s victories belong to those who respond to the call’.
Women, being a wife and a mother are not your calling because that would make your divine purpose subject to human approval.

That’s a role you play in your families. A calling or purpose is a visible ‘heart for a need’ with an impact measured in lives changed. God’s success is measured in the number of souls saved and only you can stop or delay your purpose. God’s plans for your life cannot be subject to the approval of another human being. Your calling is much bigger than that and between you and your Creator, not you and your husband; albeit your calling may be a co-calling with your spouse. What worries me is the number of divine callings that remain unfulfilled in the name of ‘godly marriage’. So to all the women out there…

  • Are you humble enough to be used by Him?
  • Courageous enough to act on the vision you have been given?
  • Attuned enough to recognise Him as the source and intention of His purpose in this world?
  • Wise enough to understand your role as the vehicle through which God establishes His will in this world?

Ladies, really; it’s about time! God’s been calling.

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