I’ve been on a few courses where ‘leadership styles’ have been covered. Who gets the job done quickest, best, with everyone in the team still on board etc… Well, here in Exodus 3:1-4 we get a few leadership pointers.
In Pharaoh’s court, as the adoptive son of the princess, Moses must have had a fair idea of what dictatorship looked like. Giving orders, letting everyone below you do the dirty work, not worrying if they don’t like you – they just had to obey!
I don’t know whether Moses had had any clue about shepherding before taking up the post in Midian, but by the time of this story, he’s had 40 years’ experience. In that time he must have discovered that Pharaoh’s principles of governance didn’t work with sheep! They needed to be led, taken to good places, with a rod and staff to keep them in order and on the right path.
Then God stepped into the scene for Moses. He didn’t give out the orders, and he didn’t do any pushing or pulling. He put on the spectacular, and got Moses’ attention. He drew him. And when he’d come close enough, God called him by name. What other response could Moses utter, than, “Here I am”.
It’s interesting that both Moses and David, Israel’s two best-known leaders, had earlier careers in shepherding prior to their leadership roles – God wanted them to know that people are not to be simply ordered around, but gently lead, and sometimes carefully disciplined when needed to keep them on the right path. Jesus endorsed this style of leadership when he called himself ‘The Good Shepherd’. And then there are times he beckons us for a one to one; for good leadership goes way beyond crowd management.
Looking back on my own life, I have sometimes marvelled at how God has used whatever means necessary to gain my attention, and demonstrated his knowledge of me as an individual; how he has known which buttons to press to secure my allegiance. The events and opportunities; the words he has whispered all tell me I am safe in his care. He is a leader worthy to be followed. What other response can there be but “Here I am”?