How will you finish the race?

1 Corinthians 9:24 "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way to get the prize."

Did you know that only 30% of leaders in the Bible finished well. This means that 70% fell short of God's plan for their lives. This fact should jolt any present day leader who desires to count for God. These leaders are categorized below according to how they finished their ministry.Ways They Finished

1. Running Leaders like Abraham, Joshua, Daniel, Paul and Peter enjoyed deepening intimacy with God throughout life. They never stopped learning and growing, even as mature leaders. They led with spiritual authority, for their followers recognized God's hand on their lives. Fully submitted to the Lord, they were developed toward full potential and used significantly to advance His purposes. They completed what God gave them to do.

2. Walking Other leaders were slowed down in their ministry because of sin. They fell short of what God intended for their lives. The ramifications of disobedience to God at some point in their leadership continued to plague them, even though they may have been walking with God at the end. Such persons may include David, Jehoshaphat and Hezekiah.

3. Limping These leaders finished the race in poor shape. They were on a decline in the latter phase of their ministry. This may have been reflected in their inner life with God or in their ministry effectiveness. Leaders in this category include Gideon, Eli and Solomon.

4. Disqualified Some leaders were taken out of the race prematurely. They were removed from leadership by assassination, killed in battle, denounced or overthrown. We are not referring here to an honorable end like that of Stephen. Rather, God removed leaders such as Samson, Absalom and Ahab because He was not pleased with them. It is a tragic thing when God regrets placing someone in leadership. The price is great: personal shame for the 1eaderd and damage to God's Kingdom.While the interpretation of the date may be open for debate, the overall conclusion is abundantly clear. Few leaders finish well!

Only one in three biblical leaders fully cooperated with God over the long haul and experienced the corresponding results in ministry. Do you think the ratio has improved over the past 2,000 years? A quick survey of scandals in involving Christian leaders today would indicate that the situation hasn't improved at all.

A recent study that I read has detailed analysis on the lives of over 1,200 contemporary and historical Christian leaders. When compared with the study of Biblical leaders, it is clear that there are certain barriers that commonly prevent leaders from finishing well. I will post them tomorrow.

No comments: