Skip to content

One Challenging Leadership Question By R. Scott Rodin

Finding Answers to Challenging Leadership Questions

Every once in a great while, a question is posed that hits you right between the eyes. Here is one with which I have been struggling ever since I heard it, “do you consider stories in the Bible that tell about how God shapes leaders to be exceptions or the rule for the way he wants to shape you?” Honestly, if you are like me, don’t we tend to think of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Esther, David, and Nehemiah as exceptional stories, even extraordinary illustrations of how God works with people he calls to lead?

But why?

By labeling them as “exceptional,” don’t we render them irrelevant to our much more mundane daily leadership challenges? I have been convinced that we are making a significant mistake when we do. What if, just what if, Scripture intends to lift these examples as a rule? That is, what if these are to be the actual way that God desires us to lead? Why else would the Holy Spirit have included them in Scripture?

We may write these stories off as exceptional because of the cost associated with the alternative choice. When stories of biblical leaders are rendered exceptional, we do not have to struggle with whether we have the same level of faith, trust, sacrifice, or surrender in our leadership. We can brush off Gideon’s absurd attack on the Midianites with only a few hundred men. We can smile at but largely ignore Joshua’s defeat of Jericho without shooting an arrow. We can marvel at the great deeds of David while dismissing them because, after all, we are no David. In short, we can render all of these stories impotent regarding their ability to impact how we live and lead.

But what if we didn’t?

What if, as steward leaders, we believed that God seeks to help us lead like these rather exceptional but wholly fallen biblical leaders? What if he does ask us to trust him, be faithful, and follow his every command, regardless of the cost? What if he wants to do amazing, even miraculous things through us if we will but yield ourselves entirely to him? What if he wants our children and grandchildren to hear stories of our leadership and be just as amazed at what God has done in us and through as they are of Daniel, Deborah, and Ezra?

So this is my challenge to you today.

Do you dare open Scripture expecting to find the normative way God seeks to shape you as a leader he has called into service? Will you take on the mantle of a faithful servant of God and search these biblical texts for evidence of how God acted extraordinarily in the past and how he desires and intends to work extraordinarily through you today, right where you are? It may mean abandoning worldly definitions of success and secular standards for measuring leadership effectiveness. That certainly wouldn’t have worked for Caleb or Daniel. It will change our expectations of what God might do in our midst, even in the most challenging circumstances. And isn’t that a good thing?

Exception or rule?

Your answer to that question will have a fundamental impact on your leadership. I believe it will ultimately shape your legacy.


R.Scott Rodin has been in not-for-profit leadership and consulting for twenty-five years. He has served as counsel to over 100 organizations across the country and in Canada and Great Britain, including colleges, seminaries, schools, churches, para-church ministries, and other not-for-profit organizations. Visit his blog at Kingdom Life Publishing.


What is Christian Leadership Alliance?

Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.

Upcoming Events

Check back later!