Christian Confrontation-Be BoldNovember 4, 2008
6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
If you ever wanted to study a leader, Joshua would be a great place to start. In fact, we will be starting a series on Effective Christian Leadership that studies the principles of leadership provided in the book of Joshua, mostly in the first couple of verses. With this said, however, let us focus our thoughts on Christian Confrontation. What is it? How do we do it? What is the right way and wrong way? When do we do it?
Well, if we were to look at a leader or someone in the professional role of leading in early Scripture, I would think Joshua would give us a great lesson on conflict. He was the man who hung on the very words of God. Remember, out of the spies sent into Jericho, he was one of two who actually reported back all about the city, but clung more to the promise of God’s victory over what he saw. As a leader, Joshua had to be terrified knowing he was to lead the people to the Promised Land. As a warrior, Joshua knew there would be plenty of battles ahead of him… conflicts if you will. So let us look at one precept that God was determined to get into Joshua’s head before the Christian Confrontation began. In fact, God was so determined to help Joshua learn this point; he directly mentioned it three times in the span of three verses. Don’t you love serving and intentional God?
Be strong and courageous
Three times God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous. And how does this play into Effective Christian Leadership and Christian Confrontation? So many Christians fall into the trap of thinking we are to shrink from our enemy and simply remain humble in our approach. This is a bone of contention for me, perhaps because I am a Red Key Signature Personality. Regardless of the reason, I base my argument on the simple fact that it is called spiritual warfare, not spiritual negotiation. Confrontation is a part of life for everyone, nonbeliever and believer alike. However, as a believer, I am to ensure my approach is more along the lines of Christian Confrontation versus the worldly approach of “blow them out of the water.” So, as a rule, God gave Joshua the order to be strong and courageous. What would this look like?
- Sometimes, the truth hurts. As a Christian, I find it most difficult to hold those close to me accountable. Sure, I could simply take the Nazi approach and brow-beat them into submission, or I could let them simply go on as they would normally without me saying anything. These are two extremes… strength and courage would provide me balance. As a Christian, I should provide an example in my life, however, not be too afraid to call my friend’s actions to the light.. in truth and love of course.
- Effective Christian Leadership requires strength. There are going to be times where as a Christian Leader, you will want to run and hide. However, like Joshua, you will be asked to step up and in these moments, true leaders are seen. For example, we saw the true strength of Peter when the time came to tell the Gospel at the risk of his life. We saw David confess his sin and stand to be the king God had desired him to be. Both men underwent significant trials, but because of the fire they survived, they are now known as great leaders for us to follow.
- Be Bold, Be Direct, and Be Loving. This is hard for most dominant leaders since they merely want to get to the point and get it over with. I would agree there is some love in being direct, especially when it comes to bad news. With this said, however, let’s not always be so direct that we lose sight of the fact that it is people we are leading, not machines. Christ put us in leadership positions and like he instructed Peter, we are to care, tend to, and love his flock. Our leadership is to be bold in that we acknowledge our strength in Christ alone. This is not something we should neither hide behind nor hide from. If we put on Christ, then those who believe and even some who want to believe in Him will be drawn to our leadership, only because of Christ. Be bold, be strong, be courageous is what he instructed Joshua.
Effective Christian Leadership and Christian Confrontation are two very in depth topics that we will continue to study. What are some of your experiences? Please share what you have learned as a Christian in a Leadership Role.
About the Writer:
Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.
As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses. This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.