Leadership is an art form. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. Leadership is necessary. Churches need leaders, companies need leaders, and most importantly families need leaders. A leader holds the vision for the church, the company, or the family. The leader has the ability to bring the best out of the group that they lead even in the worst of times.
The aforementioned attributes are generic to standard leadership. The world’s perception is that the leader is a soldier. The truth is that a lot of leaders are wounded soldiers. They are experiencing pain, brokenness, anxiety…and nobody knows or cares enough to acknowledge it.
Joshua chapter 1 is the perfect story of leading through pain. There are a couple of strategies that God gave Joshua to deal with the pain that he was experiencing:
1. Acknowledge the situation – We cannot ignore what is happening! Too often leaders think that being strong is ignoring the situation. That is not being strong; it is actually a sign of weakness. God said “My servant Moses is dead (Joshua 1:2).” He made Joshua face the reality. As leaders we must also face the reality of painful situations.
2. Get ready – He encouraged him to acknowledge the situation but not to dwell on it. Too often leaders are dwelling on their hurts not realizing that there is a task at hand. Joshua 1:2 says “My servant Moses is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready…”
3. Notice the promise – God knows that you are hurting and that is why he will let you know that he is with you. In your pain he will be there to protect you and guide you along the way. He told Joshua: “I will give you every place you set your foot…no one will be able to stand against you…as I was with Moses I will be with you…I will never leave you (Joshua 1:3-5).”
4. You must be Strong, Courageous, and Lead – In order to lead through pain you will need strength and courage. Leading was not an option during that time. Joshua 1:6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people…”
5. Meditate on the Word – This was probably the best advice he gave Joshua. Joshua 1:7-8 talks about obeying the Law in order to be successful and prosperous. In this book there definitely is healing balm for those painful moments that life tosses our way.
As leaders, God does not require us to have it all figured out. Rather he requires us to trust him even in the most difficult of times. We must learn that we are not called to be superheroes but rather we are ordinary people who can do extraordinary things because of an extraordinary God. Leading through pain is not easy but with God it is definitely possible!
As a leader of a business, church, or your household, how do you lead through pain?