The Leaders We Deserve

Like the 1.5 million wildebeest tht make the long trek from Tanzania’s Serengeti Plains, further north to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, every season we cross the river called elections in order to get across safely to the next chapter of our country’s future. Because so much hangs in the balance, because the waters of the elections are fraught with danger, this month, I would like to share with you from the word of God some principles about leadership to help us navigate this journey. I want to focus my series on the county of Nairobi, but the principles apply at every level.

Many of us don’t understand how pivotal the governor of Nairobi will be. The governor is like the provincial commissioner and the mayor rolled into one. The man in charge will be CEO of the commercial hub of East and Central Africa and will have a multi-billion-shilling budget to manage.

The governor of Nairobi will be the number two in the country’s power structure second only to the president. In many countries the elected mayor/chief executive of the capital goes on to be president, thanks to the high visibility that position affords. The reason we have to pay as much attention to the race for governor as we are giving to the presidential succession is that we will be picking a figure of
immense power and prestige who could well be president one day.The first principle I will share today is in the book of Samuel. Turn with me to 1 Samuel 2: 12-17.

Observation: Eli’s sons were wicked men. Even before people finished offering their sacrifice, the servants of the priests would demand raw meat from those who were offering sacrifices. A modern day example would be like some of the pastors grabbing money out of your hands as you are putting it into the offering bags. If the people offering a sacrifice tried to protest, the servant would threaten to take it by force.

This sin was extremely offensive to God because they were treating the offering with contempt. They were also sleeping with the women who were serving at the Tent. Read vs 22-23.

Basically a man of God came and pronounced judgment on Eli and his family. Even though his family had been given a position of privilege he had honored his sons more than God by eating the choice parts of every offering the people gave. The result was that God brought destruction on the entire family.

What do we learn from this story about the nature of leadership? By rebuking them but not removing them from office, Eli tolerated his sons behavior and he got exactly the kind of leaders he tolerated. My one point in this message is this: WE GET EXACTLY THE KIND OF LEADERSHIP WE TOLERATE!

Indulge me, let’s do a quick quiz to check our attitude to leadership: Which of these represents your feelings with regard to politics in general and the race for governor of Nairobi?
a. I am put off by politics.
b. I feel apathetic; Whatever!
c. It’s a waste of time, too much is happening to prevent a clean election.
d. I love our country; I just wish someone would make it better.

Many of us are ordinary men and women. We don’t kill or steal. Nonetheless when it comes to the public affairs of this nation we feel intimidated, unqualified, we pray someone else will solve the problem. What will it take for to determine the future direction for the city of Nairobi?

Most of us could go into this election without sufficient reflection. Like the wildebeest we are plunging headlong into the river not sensing the danger that lies under the surface. You have to ask yourself what solutions would you propose to forestall the annual crocodile attacks if you were a wildebeest or if you were hired as a consultant for them? Why don’t they construct a bridge? or why don’t they appoint guards or sentries to warn the others? Why don’t they at least hold a kamukunji to discuss the issue and why don’t they elect a delegation to go and negotiate with the crocodiles?

If we don’t do anything about it by our non engagement we are tolerating whatever leadership we will get good or bad. Because Eli did not effectively rebuke the scandalous conduct of his sons, a man of God came to pronounce doom upon them and their descendants. Bad governance will happen if I tolerate it. If I don’t play my part, I should be okay with bad leadership. We have a duty to vet those vying for public
office and to determine the right leaders for this city and nation.

As I launch this series I really pray that God will help us understand from the story of Eli that leadership is about the relationship between those who have political leadership in society and those who are led: those who exercise authority and those who are the subjects of this authority.

By virtue of the fact that you live and work in this city, God has positioned you and I to influence the race for the governor of the capital. Nairobi is the fulcrum around which the economy turns. We can and must determine who the governor of this great city will be. . . As Nairobi’s economy goes, so goes Kenya’s. That’s why the race for Nairobi governor is so important. God is asking you and I to choose the person who will be responsible for a whole raft of issues from public transport, housing, health centers, electricity regulations, water and sanitation, trade licensing, local tourism, county roads, etc.

We are not helpless in this situation. Neither are we mindless like the wildebeest. We have a God given opportunity to choose the man or woman who will be CEO of the commercial hub of East and Central Africa and will have a multi-billion-shilling budget to manage.

From God’s perspective, he has entrusted the responsibility for this city to us. Unlike Eli we cannot stop at rebuking wrongdoing, we have to remove from office those who are not the right leaders for our city and choose the right leaders. It matters where we have come from as a country;

Many of us are apprehensive about what happened five years ago. We wonder what lies ahead. But what matters even more is where we are going. We have a singular opportunity to shape the future of this nation.

We have great potential, but we dare not be naive like Eli and bring God’s destruction on the family of Kenya. If we choose leaders who are facing criminal charges like Eli did we are being myopic. Eli had judged Israel for forty years, a testimony to the service he rendered to his people. But it was marred by the sin of his sons and by his failure to eject them from their sacred office. With respect to the race for
governor of Nairobi, if any one of the aspirants is facing criminal charges, that person is not the right candidate for this city.


i. Get familiar with your constituency and ward.
ii. Find out who is vying for office in your area. Task someone in the group to investigate his/her track record and report back to the group.
iii. Two months ago, in September, pastor Simon had told us that November was going to be a month of national prayer. I want to ask you within your groups to take a day of prayer and fasting as a group or a Chama or a family and just pray that God will expose bad leaders


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8 Responses to “The Leaders We Deserve”

  1. How very apt!


  2. Thank you for such a timely sermon. As a nation, we need to humble ourselves and pray, and turn away from all wickedness associated with past elections- tribalism, corruption, bribery, failing to vote and vote wisely, violence,gossip, malice and slander-that the Lord may hear us and heal the land. I have purposed to take God for His word in the coming elections. I will vote God-fearing leaders, even if everybody else chooses not to. Our God is no respecter of persons or numbers and is able to deliver us from bad leadership if we take Him for who He is. God.


  3. […] So Bonoko show is on and as we are talking about politics and listened to an inspiring message #TheGovener  […]


  4. julius mwei Says:

    Concerning the clip of the guy who was hit by a motorist and kicked on the chest, did he ever get justice? How inhumane and irrational some people can be!


  5. joshua king Says:

    Amazing read. I am considering visiting kenya and eventually re locating. This reminds me the power of Pray, how every vote counts, and to learn from history. This is a no nonsense, common sense inspiring read.


  6. savedbygrace Says:

    I have to be honest I reall wasnt syked about the sermon series and didnt see how it was my business who runs this city and how its run.

    That is until,I watched Nairobi Half Life yesterday!!I laughed,I cried and when I got home I got on my knees and really prayed for our city.

    The harsh inequalites,crime,corrupt police force affect us ALL negatively!From the poverty stricken slum dwellers to those in the leafy suburbs,nobody wins and nobody is safe when things go wrong!

    When one of us suffers,we all suffer!So do we choose to look or do we choose to look away.God help us as Mavunites to be part of the solutions and not part of the problem.If we can prevent even one person from suffering the fate of the gangsters of of the prostitutes,we will have made a change.

    Thanks Pastor Linda for this timely message!


  7. […] first part in the 4 part series was titled The Leaders We Deserve  and the main take out was that WE GET EXACTLY THE KIND OF LEADERSHIP WE TOLERATE! This was […]


  8. I needed to thank you for this excellent read!!
    I absolutely loved every bit of it. I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post…


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