The Leadership Brand

Any time you buy a product or a service, you probably have a mental picture of what your purchase will do and how it will improve your business or life.

Every brand has a promise, which is what the consumer experiences. If it doesn’t deliver, the consumer does not buy it.

Leadership is a brand which holds a certain promise. But what do we do when it does not deliver the promised result?

Turn with me to 1 Kings 12:1-15

Shechem was a city of great historical significance located in the north. The representatives of the northern tribes had gone there to ratify Rehoboam as king. David had become king over the northern tribes on the basis of a promise. Therefore, their act of submission was to be renewed with each new king and that was subject to negotiation.

 Smouldering discontent with Solomon’s heavy taxation, conscription of labour and military forces flared up into strong expression. Conditions had progressively worsened since the early days of his rule. Elders, who had served his father Solomon, gave Rehoboam this advice: If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favourable answer, they will always be your servants. In other words AUTHORITY IS FOR SERVICE NOT FOR PERSONAL AGGRANDIZEMENT.

Rehoboam had quickly established new administrative positions for friends and associates from his own generation who advised him to reject the advice of the elders. He answered the people using a proverb: My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist, which claimed that Rehoboam’s weakest measures would be far stronger than his father’s strongest measures.

Not only would governmental burdens be increased, but the punishment for not complying with the government’s directives would also be intensified.

Here are a few things we can learn from this passage:

  1. Rehoboam’s answer reflects a tyrannical spirit, completely contrary to the covenantal character of the relationship between the Israelites and their king. When leaders reflect a tyrannical spirit, God not only expects us to pray but  renegotiate the terms of the agreement in the agreed upon ways.
  2. The people of God looked for counsel; they consulted and discussed before they rejected Rehoboam’s leadership. It was not impulsive or reactive. God wants us to have good roads, our children to get education and so on. This is the time to get into these conversations. A good gauge of who might be a good leader is one who is open to consultative meetings.
  3. Rehoboam violated a principle by refusing to take the people’s advice. Leadership is based on a promise Rehoboam was presented with an opportunity to make a promise, which he passed up. This cost him the support of the northern tribes.
  4. We have no obligation to stay with leaders who don’t make or keep promises that address our needs.  Today, we elect leaders on the basis of our constitution and with each new leader we renew our commitment to be led .That commitment is subject to negotiation.

My one point in this message is this: When a leader becomes destructive it is my duty to select another leader in his place.

I am greatly concerned that as God’s people, we compartmentalize our faith. We relegate certain things to the spiritual realm and certain other things to the secular realm. We compartmentalize life in such a way that to be Christian means certain kinds of actions and certain other kinds of actions are not part of what it means to be Christian.

About a week ago, police in Kitui held two members of the Kavonokya sect who failed to have their children vaccinated against measles during the just concluded campaign. The district public health officer said the immunization campaign team were met with stiff resistance from pupils whose parents told them the vaccination is against their religious beliefs. She held a meeting with the parents and her attempts to persuade them to allow their children get the jab were fruitless. The two parents said their faith considered modern medicine as ungodly. Last year, 11 children all from families who ascribe to the Kavonokya faith died from a measles outbreak in Kanzui and Ngoo areas of Mwingi district.

When we read stories like this one we instinctively feel that these parents have gone overboard, but we behave the same way when it comes to issues of governance.

Somehow, we expect that God will work out his purposes ONLY in an otherworldly fashion.

However there are examples of God’s people influencing governance.

This year Mavuno has done a lot in terms of civic education. Tuvuke women’s conference, Mabadiliko Peace concerts and Hatua public forums in 4 universities across this country. We have exposed about 10,000 Kenyans to a message of peaceful, free and fair elections based on the word of God.

You cannot solve problems at the same level of thinking. You cannot do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. These are the same things the northern tribes said to Rehoboam.

Good leadership comes with a responsibility. We cannot sit back and expect good leadership to come automatically. When we over spiritualize issues we misunderstand the faith and water down the brand. Songs like ‘This world is not my home’ and ‘Across the bridge there’s no more sorrow’ only makes us live in a way that makes us want to take flight.

We are ridiculed as believers because we are so out of touch with what is around us.

Well, Good leaders don’t grow on trees.

When a leader becomes destructive it is my duty to select another leader in his place.

Your 18 year old nephew is eligible to vote for the first time next March; He wants to know his Christian duty as a patriotic citizen. You tell him:

  1. We will accept whatever leaders form the government of the day.
  2. Leaders are there to serve; therefore we have a duty to choose the right leaders.
  3. The governor exists to rule Nairobi and the only time he serves us is when he is campaigning.
  4. As Christians our duty is only to pray the right leaders in.

Here is what I would like you to do this week:

    1. The voter registration exercise has begun. Go and register to take charge of the future of this country. If you are wondering where the nearest voter registration center is, click here to find out – http://gottovote.code4kenya.org/
    2.  This coming Friday is the final worship night of this year.I want to challenge you to pray for this country.

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7 Responses to “The Leadership Brand”

  1. […] 25th November, in the forth and final part of this series titled The Leadership Brand we heard that AUTHORITY IS FOR SERVICE NOT FOR PERSONAL AGGRANDIZEMENT and another personal take […]

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  2. This is such an eye opener.As you have rightly put it, Christians are waiting for some magic in the political realm no wonder there are few comments on the sermons of late.

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  3. Awesome series, thank you Pastor Linda. I pledge to me more active in Governance. similar message here that sinks the message further home http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Opinion—Analysis/Be-brave-enough-to-be-trusted-with-leadership-reins/-/539548/1629066/-/item/0/-/g74wwiz/-/index.html

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  4. Thank you Pastor Linda…. Mentioned your blog on Easy FM this morning. We MUST decide on the leadership Brand we are willing to live with!

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  5. I wish there was a way this message would reach to other Kenyans who seem to be brained washed since every 5 years they still vote for the destructive leader. This message is also appropriate to those who are voting for a leader based on the tribe that they come from. It’s time to take action!

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  6. […] The Leadership Brand. […]

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