What I’m Thinking: A Leader Isn’t Enough


The people of Israel told Samuel that they wanted a king – they wanted solid, dependable leadership. They didn’t get it. But even if they had, is leadership enough?

Here’s a transcript.

I’m thinking about the eighth chapter of First Samuel today (1 Samuel 8:4-11 (12-15), 16-20; 11:14-15), in which the people of Israel demanded a monarch, a king just like the other nations around them.

Samuel warned – God warned – that there are consequences to such a thing. Kings make demands: taxes, soldiers, servants for their courts.

But the people insisted they wanted a leader. If there was just the right leader everything would be fine.

Well, we haven’t been looking – I guess – for a monarch in these days, but I can certainly tell you we still look for a lot of leaders. We look for leaders in the church: “Once we have our new pastor, everything will be fine!” We look for leaders in the county, or the state, or the nation: “Once we’ve got our new president, everything will be fine!”

But presidents and governors and even pastors make demands.

And it has to be said, as important as leaders are, their work is to coordinate the good work of others. Don’t get me wrong: it’s an indispensable part of things. We’re currently trying to organize so that we can help provide meals for those who’ve evacuated down in Pahoa. 

But still, it’s the individuals who will show up, and set the food out, and make sure there’s a plate for everybody, and give that smile that says, “you are care for” – those people make far more difference in the short run and the long run than the most skilled of the leaders who’ll make sure they’re there.

Both are important. But it’s not just the leader that we need.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

You can support those affected by the current eruption in Puna by donating through our church or online through the United Church of Christ’s Emergency USA.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on June 4, 2018

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