Lessons from Moses (seminar from YWC2011)

Authentic Leadership seminar from YouthWork the Conference 2011

lead by Andy Frost and Jenny Baker

Looking at Moses gives us an interesting and perhaps unexpected view of leadership.

Expectations: He was rescued as a baby by an Egyptian Princess and given a name that means ‘out of the water’. In Egyptian mythology Pharaoh was known as the God of the Nile and so Moses’ name was more significant than we might first see. He had expectations placed upon him as one who had come from the Nile.

Pride: Despite having been brought up in the palace by the princess and her entourage Moses knew he was not Egyptian but a Hebrew. The Bible doesn’t tell us how he knows but it does tell us that his heart burned with anger when he saw an Egyptian guard mistreating ‘his own people’ and ‘looking left and right’ to check no-one is watching he kills him. Moses clearly knows this is not a good thing to do and yet his pride is such that he thinks he’ll get away with it.

Fear: Some time passes, Moses is now 80, and God confronts him through a bush that burns with a fire that doesn’t consume. Moses has lost his pride, having been chased out of Egypt by those who found out about the guard, and now succumbs to fear. He questions God ‘Who am I that the Hebrew people will listen?’ Moses tries again and again to convince God he is not the right person to do the job but God keeps answering his excuses, keeps on with his persuasion.

Leadership is not necessarily something we are born with. Moses obviously felt a fish out of water in the palace, perhaps not fully understanding the events of his early life and maybe with questions about who he really was.

Leadership is not about waiting for someone else to tap you on the shoulder. Moses was out of Egypt when God appeared and told him to go back.

Leadership is not necessarily waiting until you are at the top of your organisation. Moses suspected that the Israelites wouldn’t follow him because they knew he had been cast out. And many of them did question this to begin with, but God’s purpose was for them to follow Moses and so they did.

A leader can step up and lead at any point in their life. Moses was 80. Many others used by God through the Biblical narrative are young (and beyond!): David, Daniel, Jeremiah etc.

Being an authentic leader requires looking at 5 different areas:

Purpose: What is your purpose?


Relationships: Mentors; Models; Pastors; Friends

Self-discipline: pursuing God, look to future plans, where will you be in 5 or 10 years time? What things do you need to put in place to get there?

Heart: Passion

All these things need to be held in balance, to be thought about, chatted about, write about them!

10 tips for developing Leadership

  1. Read a book: about leadership; or stories from human history.
  2. Do some training
  3. Find a mentor
  4. Work Experience- outside church environment
  5. 5 year plan: have a long term view
  6. Interview 5 leaders – intentional discussion with other leaders
  7. Read the Bible with a leadership lens
  8. Ask someone to critique your leadership
  9. Form a peer group of leaders
  10. Do something outside your comfort zone

This is a great list, very practical and something to really focus on being deliberate in developing one’s own leadership potential as well as it being something you could pass on to others.


3 thoughts on “Lessons from Moses (seminar from YWC2011)

  1. Some real pearls here – thanks. You’ve probably read it, but the best thing I’ve read on this topic is by Tim Hawkins (‘Leaders That Will Last’). He makes the point that what we need most are not gifted leaders, but godly ones. In other words, it’s not our talents that count, but our character.


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