Monday, March 20, 2017

Important Leadership Traits

The study of the book of Judges has been eye opening for me because of its intensity and detail. There's so much more there than what I remembered.

I wanted to take a break, just to regroup and ensure that we're all following along.

Remember, these are the judges or leaders that God chose to deliver Israel from their surrounding enemies. These leaders were a far cry from what we would call in today's vernacular, 'ideal candidates'.

So far, we've noticed the following:

  • We've consistently seen the breakdown of the family in the constant cycle of redemption and failure of the Israelites.
  • We've seen that the Spirit of God was present, that it moved individuals to action, in a powerful fashion that provided clarity.
  • We've seen that God allowed their enemies to overcome them so that when God stepped in through their leader, the conclusion could only be that it was God.
  • We've seen that human nature is complex, yet not one part of it is a surprise to the God who made us.
  • The tenure for the leaders we have studied so far were all over 20 years. The longer the tenure the greater the stability.
  • Finally, with God's leading, we've seen how these men and one woman were able to lead the Israelites who were not an easy bunch. Gideon had a degree of fear; Deborah had smarts; Ehud was willing; Shamgar was a fighter and Othniel was ordinary; different character traits yet all possessed the traits of leadership. 
The most prevalent and consistent traits of leadership are obedience - a willingness to listen to someone bigger than you and humility - the recognition that the task at hand is bigger than you and deploying assistance from above and below. We've seen other leadership traits in action also: vision, self-awareness, integrity, commitment and a willingness to help others.

John Maxwell lists 5 stages of leadership - position, permission, production, people development and pinnacle. So far the judges we have studied were leaders because of their position - God placed them there; they were appointed. In addition, most had the respect of the people they led.  The Israelites listened and followed their direction - they had a vested interest in following and listening to their leader. The scripture does not go into detail on each judges' life, but many were hailed as great men.

As we study the remainder of the book of Judges, we'll see additional lessons of leadership that we can apply to our lives today.

But among you, it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. John 20:26-28

What's your biggest takeaway on leadership from studying the book of Judges? Would you consider yourself a leader?


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  1. These are wonderful insights that makes me want to go dig in the book of Judges (I haven't been following your study but now I want to go back and explore!). One of my gifts is leadership and I am in a position of leadership now so I would love to go through that book just looking for tips on leading! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for digging deep into Judges and sharing your insights with us, Nylse. As I read this post, I was amazed by how God uses men and women from different backgrounds and personalities to achieve his purposes. So many lessons here!

  3. Nylse, honestly I have not ventured that deep into the book of Judges so thank you for this overview. I think the biggest take away for me would be humility. I think the reality that these judges were appointed by God is truly sobering but in reality we all are appointed by Him to live for Him daily. This humility is one I desire to carry with me daily. Thanks for your post Nylse, keep writing and be blessed! - Kia

  4. I think everybody is a leader in some way. I do agree that obedience to God and humility are very important traits for a Christian leader, and I'm glad you highlighted them. Both of those things play into the servant leadership model that I prefer to work under.

  5. My greatest take away on leadership from looking at O.T. judges is that the only way to be a truly effective leader is to stay closely connected to God. The moment I start thinking I have it all figured out or I can do it on my own . . . I will crash and burn. Thanks for this great reminder!


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