Pastoral

 

Ministry Team Letter for the Month

Dear Friends,

As I write this piece the contest is hotting up in parliament to see who is going to replace Boris Johnson as the next Prime Minister.  The number of candidates gradually being whittled down to just two before the grassroots Tories can have their say.  This set me thinking about what we look for in a prospective leader.

 

Obviously, we want someone who can lead.  This said, there are many different styles of leadership, and it will probably depend  on the situation and the challenges that lie ahead that will determine which style best suits the present time.

  

It is likely we will want someone of integrity and strength of character who can withstand the pressures and knocks that come with the job.  Also, they will need energy, discernment, and broad shoulders to be able to meet the demands, make difficult decisions and take the knocks that will come their way.  Ideally, they will be someone who listens to those around and will then have wisdom to make the right decisions.  And so, the list will go on, everyone having their own criteria.

 

However, the weakness of putting together any sort of leadership profile, is that invariably the compilers are striving for perfection which, of course, we all know does not exist.

  

The Morning Prayer Old Testament readings at present are taken from the book of Judges; and what a motley crew most of them were!  Yet these were God’s appointed leaders over his people, and their deliverers from their oppressors. 

                                                                                                                               

Then, as we progress through the pages of the Old Testament, we see that nearly all the leaders, be they Judges or Kings, are flawed and fallen (often in many ways).  Just think of the adulterous and murderous King David and the wisest of all kings, Solomon who, because of his many wives and concubines, was led astray to worship other gods.  From then on in, it is a steady downhill path leading to the Kingdom being split in two and then exile for God’s people and their leaders.

  

In the New Testament Jesus gives us the perfect example of leadership getting the perfect balance of humility and forthrightness, forbearance and anger, patience and exasperation, law, and grace…  He is the servant King, but his kingdom is not of this world and his service is to his heavenly Father.

 

The leadership that followed once Jesus had ascended to his Father’s side was godliness mixed with personality and fallen human nature (redeemed by God’s grace).  And so, as you would expect there were successes and failures, but hopefully, always with the best of intentions for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom.  And so, it is to this very day.

  

Which brings me almost full circle.  St Paul urges his young accomplice, ‘...that prayers, petitions, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority…’ (1 Timothy 2:1,2).  So let us offer our prayers for our nation and all those who play a part in choosing the next Prime Minister, recognising that whoever is chosen will have strengths and weaknesses, aptitude, and limitations.

And please Lord let it be the right person for our times, with the wisdom of Solomon but without his later failings!

  

Yours sincerely in Christ,

 

                                                                 Simon

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