Great Leaders… “From the Wrong Side of the Tracks”

Young emerging leaders are often discovered and formed in the most unexpected places!  They often do not possess the “advantages” of power, prestige and privilege that others enjoy.  Their incubation often takes place in poverty, small towns, the “wrong side of the tracks” and the farm.  Many great leaders got their education in one room schoolhouses, little colleges or possessed no formal education at all!

Wise seasoned leaders recognize this and are continually on the lookout for young emerging leaders with promise.  Identifying young people with leadership potential and gifting, for these seasoned leaders is a life quest.

For those with Christian values, God’s calling and gifting, are key components in identifying and developing young emerging leaders.  They view this critical issue as non-negotiable.

This morning my Bible reading included a case study in the identification of young emerging leaders… David in 1 Samuel 16…

Saul, the first king in Israel, had disqualified himself through pride and disobedience.  The Bible says, “The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel?  Fill your horn with oil and go.  I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.’”

So Samuel obeyed and went to Bethlehem.  He arranged for a sacrifice and invited Jesse and his sons to attend.  Eliab, the eldest – the natural choice, appeared.  Samuel thought this was probably the one.  God spoke however and said, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature because I have rejected him.  For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart!” (verse 7)  …Abinadab appeared… then Shammah… then the seven other sons of Jesse passed by.  In each case God told Samuel, “The Lord has not chosen this one.”  Finally, Samuel asked, “Are all your sons here?” And Jesse admitted, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.”  So young David (a human afterthought) was brought.  When Samuel saw him, the Lord spoke… “Arise, anoint him, for this is the one!”  The least likely in Jesse’s and Samuel’s view was chosen by God!  The Bible says, “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers.  And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.” (verse 13)

Over the years it has been my privilege and responsibility to identify, encourage and help the development of young emerging leaders.  I CAN TELL YOU, SOME OF THE VERY BEST AND MOST EFFECTIVE HAVE COME FROM THE MOST UNEXPECTED BACKGROUNDS!  Several years ago I read Carl Sandburg’s ABRAHAM LINCOLN: The Prairie Years and the War Years.  From a purely natural perspective, who would have chosen Abraham Lincoln as one of the most effective presidents the United States has known?  LISTEN, I NEVER WANT TO FORGET THIS FACT; “THE LORD SEES NOT AS MAN SEES: MAN LOOKS ON THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT THE LORD LOOKS ON THE HEART!”

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