(Yesterday we began a discussion on the leadership Hokey Cokey focusing on Step 1 – keeping our Face Down. You can check out the post here if you missed it.)
Today I want to look at Step 2 in my leadership Hokey Cokey; four leadership dance moves that I will be committing to.
A leader who has had their face down is able to lead with their head up (not literally – this is difficult; I’ve tried it).
Every leader can tell where something is at and most leaders can tell you where it has been but a true leader can paint a picture of where it is going.
I love the story of Joshua in the Bible.
We first see Joshua’s stock as a leader when he returns from scouting out the promised land after being sent by Moses. Where the other spies saw the strength of the people they would need to overthrow and became scared, Joshua, and Caleb, had their heads up and saw what could be; they saw it was a land flowing with milk and honey; a land of huge opportunity.
Later we hear that Moses will not be the leader to bring the people into the Promised land and God chooses Joshua to be the appointed leader of the people. At the start of the book of Joshua the Lord speaks to him about what is ahead;
“Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them
Joshua’s face down moment gives him head up vision.
One of Joshua’s first roles as a leader would have been having to communicate what God had told him to his leaders and the people, not the easiest task considering what God had told him! I love his opening speech to his officers;
“Go through the camp and tell the people ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’”
These are not the words of someone who is timid and afraid; someone who is only looking at the current situation. This is a man with his head up. He is leading knowing what is ahead.
It must have been difficult following after Moses and on top of that the Jordan river at this particular time was in flood and worldly wisdom probably would have suggested resting in that place until a time when the river was more formidable, but Joshua knew something that no one else did; the wisdom and direction of the Lord.
If you listen to leadership like this then you are likely to follow and in kind we are told that the officers responded by saying;
“Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go”
They realised that he was a leader in communication with God and someone who was looking ahead. When our hearts are in tune with the Fathers and we are prepared to lead with our eyes fixed on what is ahead the people will follow.
Leaders with their head up need to know what has gone behind but cannot be tied to it;
we are not here to reproduce what we have already seen, but to call into view that which we are desperate to see.
Face down, Head up………… we’re nearly dancing!