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Word for Today / Lessons from the Life of David (4)

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Lessons from the Life of David (4)

‘So the three mighty men broke through.’ 2 Samuel 23:16 NKJV

David knew how to develop other leaders. He didn’t ‘use’ people to get what he wanted. He recognised their talent, gave them opportunities to serve, then rewarded and honoured them. And as a result they were willing to lay down their lives for him.

In 2 Samuel 23 we read: ‘David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem” …So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well… and brought it to David.’ (2 Samuel 23:15–16 NKJV) It’s impossible to learn leadership without actually leading. After all, leadership is action. As leaders our natural tendency is to give others tasks to perform rather than leadership functions to fulfil. But if we don’t delegate leadership—with authority as well as accountability—our people will never gain the experience they need to lead well.

If you’re a leader, answer this question honestly: are you providing your people with leadership experiences? ‘But what if they fail?’ you ask. Count on it—they will! But if you’ve picked people with genuine leadership ability, they will learn from it.

Dr John Maxwell writes: ‘As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to think of myself as a lid lifter. That’s my main function as a team leader. If I can lift the leadership lids for the members of my team, then I’m doing my job. The more barriers I remove for my people, the more likely they are to rise up to their potential.’

David developed leaders who became known as ‘mighty men’, and you must invest in others too.

written by Bob Gass