The Burden of Leadership: The Mosaic Paradigm of Kingship (Deut. 17:14–20) -- By: Daniel I. Block

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 162:647 (Jul 2005)
Article: The Burden of Leadership: The Mosaic Paradigm of Kingship (Deut. 17:14–20)
Author: Daniel I. Block

The Burden of Leadership:
The Mosaic Paradigm of Kingship (Deut. 17:14–20)

This is the third article in a four-part series “Rediscovering the Gospel according to Moses,” delivered by the author as the W. H. Griffith Thomas Lectures at Dallas Theological Seminary, February 3-6, 2004.

Daniel I. Block

Daniel I. Block is John R. Sampey Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.

Responsible godly leadership involves submission and homage before God, the divine Sovereign, and humble modeling of covenant righteousness before His people in accord with His will and for their good.

The church in America is experiencing a crisis of leadership, not only with respect to leadership style but also with respect to definition. The Teal Trust, a British organization that aims to help develop effective Christian leaders, defines leadership as “enabling a group to engage together in the process of developing, sharing and moving into vision, and then living it out.”1 Warren Bennis, author of dozens of books and essays on leadership, defines leadership as “the process by which an agent induces a subordinate to behave in a desired manner.”2 Perhaps Peter Drucker has the simplest approach to leadership when he asserts, “The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers.”3 John C. Maxwell says that “leadership is influence—nothing

more, nothing less.”4 He then cites his favorite leadership proverb, “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.”5

After Moses herded his father-in-law’s sheep for about twenty years, this seems to have been the only kind of walk Moses was willing to take. His five responses to God’s call to leadership are classic. “I am nobody” (Exod. 3:11). “I have no authority” (v. 13). “I have no credibility” (4:1). “I have no talents” (v. 10). “I don’t want to go” (v. 13). Remarkably in responding to these protestations the Lord refused to answer according to modern definitions of leadership, which often sound slightly narcissistic.

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