Unlikely Leaders

Truth and wisdom sometimes come from unexpected sources. Consider the Old Testament story of Balaam (Numbers 22). Balaam had a reputation as a mighty prophet. A king from a nation hostile to Israel sought his services. This king wanted Balaam to curse the Israelites, hoping that would enable him to defeat them in battle and run them out of the land. Though Balaam knew that God would not allow him to curse Israel, he eventually agreed to go with the king's men.

Balaam rode on a donkey, and along the journey, the donkey suddenly refused to continue down the path. Three times, the donkey behaved in a way that Balaam could not account for, angering Balaam and causing him to strike the donkey with his staff. Finally, something truly astonishing happened – God gave the donkey the ability to speak in a human voice. The donkey asked Balaam why he was striking it, and finally, God opened Balaam's eyes. He saw what the donkey had seen all along. The angel of the Lord was standing before the donkey, sword drawn, and three times had prevented the donkey from moving forward. The angel spoke and told Balaam that if the donkey had not acted as it did, he would have killed Balaam. The donkey had more wisdom and discernment that day than his master, Balaam.

Another unlikely source of Godly wisdom is Arab American Ralph Nader. He launched multiple unsuccessful presidential campaigns and has written numerous books. He has been accused of holding antisemitic views toward the nation of Israel. However, Nader once made a profound statement about leadership that offers insight into the seemingly paradoxical truth of Christianity. Nader said, "The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers."

In a Christian context, many would quickly point out that we are called to be followers of Jesus. Absolutely true. The interesting thing about Jesus' followers, however, is that they become servant leaders. The New Testament teaches us that we are "ambassadors for Christ" in 2 Corinthians 5:20. An ambassador is an important leadership role given to trusted and competent representatives of someone else in a higher position of authority or power. An ambassador goes in the place of another and speaks and acts on their behalf. It is truly an incredible privilege and great responsibility to be called an ambassador of Christ! If we have made Jesus both Lord and Savior, that is what He wants us to be. Ordinary men and women called by an extraordinary God become the unlikeliest of leaders in His Kingdom.

So, as we set out about the task of functioning as Christ's ambassadors, we must keep the endgame in the forefront of our minds. God calls us to teach others to follow Jesus and, in so doing, help them develop into servant leaders who can do the same. Reach A Village ministry partners in over 20 countries do this on a daily basis. They go village to village, sharing the message of love and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. They help make disciples, many of whom will become disciple-makers themselves. Authentic leadership is never about self-promotion or personal gain; leadership creates an environment where others can grow, develop, and fulfill their God-given purpose – to be Christ's ambassadors.

Please call 1-833-412-4253 or visit us online at www.reachavillage.org to learn more about the ministry and our efforts to carry out the Great Commission. We welcome your partnership in finishing the task. May we all, like the Apostle Paul, "press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called (us) heavenward in Christ Jesus," Philippians 3:14.