Monday, August 29, 2011

leading in a mission: moses style

Sitting in church yesterday, I heard a particularly good storytelling of the call of Moses. I began to appreciate a number of important insights in regard to leading in mission.

First, the call begins with the cry of a people. So leading begins with listening, to the cries of those in pain. This is a care for another, a motivation to serve born out of desire to serve. And in the Moses story, the listening is quite specific, the cries of an oppressed Israelite people at a particular time in history. Good leading involves that depth, knowing what are the cries of our community, at a particular time. (For a specific way to do this, see some ideas I have produced here and here and here).

Second, Moses was invited to give what he had, his staff, his hand. In other words, to share what he had. This could be viewed thought the lens of asset-based community development, or appreciative inquiry, that Moses builds on what he has, on what he knows, rather than on what he does not have, or does not know. All people, all churches, all groups, have something in their hand, have gifts and insights and important ways of being. Leading in mission starts with being willing to offer that.

Third, it assumes our feelings of inadequacy. I find this wonderfully liberating. I often feel overwhelmed by what lies around me and deeply aware of my own limitations. So did Moses. Yet God called in and with those limitations.

So, leading in mission – Moses style

  • listen deeply, specifically
  • assume we start with limitations and liabilities
  • simply give what we’ve got

I can almost feel a sermon coming on! 🙂 Which might be important, given that I am speaking Tuesday night at a Uniting Church Community network!

Posted by steve at 09:32 AM


  1. I’m OK with what is stated. However I continued to be concerned at a lack, from many writers, of the political that there is in the Scriptures. An apolitical reading will always produce a response that is good and careful and lacks, often, a requisite confrontationist response.

    Comment by Bruce Grindlay — September 3, 2011 @ 10:08 am

  2. Fair point Bruce. When I spoke on this on Tuesday nite, I developed it further in terms of Moses listening specifically ie cries of people in Egypt. Seems to me that the response was not just mercy – poor people – but political – going to Pharaoh. Listening is not just surface, but down through the layers so we discern the Pharaoh’s.


    Comment by steve taylor — September 4, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.