We Need Foolish Leaders!

God’s perspective to leadership is just weird!  It seems that every story, every adventure found in the scriptures involves some fool who God chooses to use.  I’ve read the Bible through many times and I just haven’t found any leaders with much pedigree. No MBA’s or Ph.D’s.  Rather, God seems to have a special fondness for foolish troubled rebels.

Most of the leaders in the Bible are misfits, deeply flawed, and better at creating chaos, than building consensus.  Abraham is cowardly and impulsive; Moses is angry and rebellious; Paul classifies himself as the worst and chief of sinners.  I can hardly think of any leader in the Bible who didn’t warrant being removed from leadership:  Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Isaac, Jacob, David, Elijah, Jeremiah, Peter and Paul.  As Dan Allender, author of Leading with a Limp, has said, “God loves to use troubled, odd, unpredictable people to not only lead others but also to make the gospel known.”

God seems to major in handpicking the most troubled, scarred, and confused leaders to accomplish His will.  But why? Is it because they are just foolish enough to say yes? Is it because they have little to lose?  Could it be that they will serve a unique purpose because of their brokenness?  The answer is yes.

Jesus has a special fondness for fools.  From Matthew to Zacchaeus, He calls out the most despised, rejected rebels to tell a story.  Could it be that the story of redemption is best told through flawed, damaged, and broken people?  Leaders are primarily story tellers and story makers and troubled people create the most interesting tales.  The most compelling stories come from the most shattered people.  Sane, reasonable, well adjusted leaders just don’t make very interesting stories!

The religiously perfect, the well adjusted, and have-it-all-together leaders are not connected enough to their true self to make a compelling tale.  They are not sufficiently engaged in real life to make their life gripping enough to form a great story. Troubled leaders who have chosen to wholeheartedly follow God have a story to tell, and they tell it.  They wear their heart on their shirt sleeve and have nothing to defend but the Gospel.  Every one knows their insecurities because they have learned to foolishly share their weaknesses rather than their strengths.   The foolish leader has learned that grace only comes through honesty, and power is perfected in weakness.

Foolish leaders don’t just share the Gospel, they embody it.  They are the Gospel.  They live it out through their own story of life, death, and resurrection.  Foolish leaders are a living portrayal of saint and felon, sick and healed.  The foolish leader embraces the darkness of his/her heart and lives wholeheartedly.  This kind of leader is the only kind we can trust.  We need more foolish leaders.

On the Road,

Steve

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The Road Less Traveled