Demonstrating Spiritual Leadership

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3/7/2004 Demonstrating Spiritual Leadership

  1. Motivate

What are some synonyms or descriptions for meaning of the word courage?

  • bravery

  • guts

  • intestinal fortitude

  • nerve

  • valor

  • daring

  • willing to stand up for what you believe

  • audacious

  • heroic

  • intrepid

  1. Transition

What do courageous people look like? Short? Tall? Handsome?

 Could be any of these
Today  we want to look at how ordinary people can rise to great courage

  • challenged by an urgent need

  • responding to a worthy cause

  • or obeying God's call!!

  1. Bible Study

3.1 Be a Spiritual Leader

List important roles that the woman Deborah fulfills, according to these verses.

Judges 4:4-7 (NIV) Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. [5] She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided. [6] She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, "The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: 'Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor. [7] I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.' "

What roles do you see Deborah taking?

  • prophetess

  • wife

  • leader of Israel

  • acting as a judge

  • challenging national leadership to defend Israel

Verse 4 uses the word "leader" to describe Deborah … what other evidence do you see of her leadership?

  • people trusted her to judge disputes

  • when she sent for a general, he came

  • she assumed the authority to tell the general what he ought to be doing

What characteristics are necessary for leaders now as well as then?

  • people trust you

  • wisdom

  • insight into the heart of a problem

  • willing to go before … not just point the way

  • a visionary, able/willing to dream big

What additional characteristics or attributes are need for spiritual leadership?

  • close walk with God, surrendered to God

  • knowledge of God's Word

  • the spiritual gift of leadership, administration

  • faithfulness

What kind of leadership roles do all of us have in one way or another

  • as parents or grandparents, aunts, uncles

  • as Christian role models to young people

  • in various responsibilities or assignments we take in various church organizations (SS class, deacons, committees, music ministry, etc.)

3.2 Agree to Stand with Others

Listen for Barak's answer to Deborah's challenge.

Judges 4:8-10 (NIV) Barak said to her, "If you go with me, I will go; but if you don't go with me, I won't go." [9] "Very well," Deborah said, "I will go with you. But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman." So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh, [10] where he summoned Zebulun and Naphtali. Ten thousand men followed him, and Deborah also went with him.

Read between the lines, imagine the body language in this conversation. How do you think they looked and sounded?



  • defensive

  • unsure

  • reluctant

  • cagey

  • challenging

  • disgusted

  • disappointed

  • frustrated

  • hopeful

Why do you think Barak was reluctant? Why do you think he needed Deborah when had the promise of God's help?

  • lack of faith

  • wanted someone else along to take the blame in case it went bad

  • maybe realized that Deborah's leadership reputation would be a helpful plus for the soldiers willing to follow them

Why does a task seem easier with someone standing with you?

  • mutual support

  • encouragement

  • they can "watch your back" (both literally and figuratively)

  • share ideas, work off each other's ideas

In addition to prayer, how can we stand with others who serve God with courage?

  • affirm them

  • communicate your faith in them

  • offer helpful ideas

  • spend time with them in the task they are doing

  • financial support is often appropriate and appreciated

3.3 Encourage Faith in God

Listen for words or phrases which would encourage Barak.

Judges 4:14-16 (NIV) Then Deborah said to Barak, "Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?" So Barak went down Mount Tabor, followed by ten thousand men. [15] At Barak's advance, the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera abandoned his chariot and fled on foot. [16] But Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim. All the troops of Sisera fell by the sword; not a man was left.

What did Deborah say to encourage Barak?

  • Go!

  • This is the day God has given Sisera into your hands

  • The Lord has gone ahead of you

Note that it was God that was responsible for the victory.

hat was the extent of their victory?

  • God routed Sisera and all his chariots by the sword

  • Sisera ran away from the battle

  • all the troops of Sisera fell by the sword

  • not one enemy left!

Why do we sometimes need encouragement to exercise spiritual leadership?

  • lack of faith

  • lack of knowledge – we may not recognize our own spiritual gift

  • we need the Body of Christ, the Church to support one another (this is by God's design)

What specific kinds of things encourage your personal role as a spiritual leader?

  • expression of thanks for a task done

  • affirmation by peers

  • sharing with others – mutual hopes, dreams, prayers

  • assurance of prayer support

How could you encourage the faith of someone else?

  • write a letter expressing thanks

  • make a phone call assuring them of your prayers, your thoughts

  • join us on Wednesday evenings during SS Connection and write post cards

  • share a scripture verse that reminds of God's presence, God's strength

3.4 Praise God for Victory

Listen for further details of the events of the victory.

Judges 5:1-2 (NIV) On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:

[2] "When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves--praise the Lord! … Judges 5:6-9 (NIV) "In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the roads were abandoned; travelers took to winding paths. [7] Village life in Israel ceased, ceased until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel. [8] When they chose new gods, war came to the city gates, and not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel. [9] My heart is with Israel's princes, with the willing volunteers among the people. Praise the Lord!

What further details do you find in these verses concerning the events we have studied?

  • Israelites were forced to take the back roads, it was dangerous to travel

  • people could not dwell in small, undefended villages

  • the people had begun to worship other deities

  • God's discipline caused them to be defenseless against their enemies, they didn't even have weapons of defense

How did Deborah act like a "mother in Israel"?

  • offered a challenge to the people

  • assured them of God's presence

  • gave direction as needed

  • agreed to go with them as leader

What kinds of victories (should) cause us to praise the Lord?

  • when your kids, grandkids make the right decisions

  • God's healing of our bodies

  • new decisions, new steps with God

  • God's direction when we were not sure what to do

  • overcoming a temptation, a bad habit

How does praising God affect our view of victory?

  • we give the credit to God, not to ourselves

  • we learn more and more to depend on God

  • we learn that God's power is always available, always sufficient, even abundant

  • it also is an encouragement to others, encouraging them to trust God in their battles

  1. Conclusion – Application

In what ways is courage not limited to a battlefield, a sinking ship, or an overseas mission?

  • courage to stand true for Jesus against opposition

  • courage to be involved in FAITH

  • courage to trust God during times of health, financial, or job crisis
  • courage to send our kids out into the world

4.1 Remember that God's command to us is also His promise

  • He will always supply whatever we need in order to follow His direction

  • God's will is the safest place for us (or our children) to be

  • living a life of faith demands that we do things based on what God has said, even though we cannot understand His plan

4.2 God often uses other believers to stand by us during difficult times

  • we can strengthen their faith, they ours

  • from this story (and from our life experiences) we realize that both men and women can be great examples of faith which encourage others

4.3 God is looking for women and men who will stand up and speak boldly for Him

  • This week know that God can and will do all that is necessary to fulfill His promises

  • God uses people to accomplish His purposes, but He reserves the glory for Himself

4.4 Praise God this week for the great things He has done on your behalf

  • need supplied

  • answers to prayer

  • strength given

: people -> stevearmstrong -> SundaySchool
people -> Peoples Voice Café History
people -> Materials of Art and Archaeology Bibliography
people -> The ethos of the royal marines the precise application of will
people -> Materials of Art and Archaeology Bibliography
people -> R. F. Sproul!, and D. R. Boggs csl-79
people -> Peter J. Bloom Department of Film and Media Studies
SundaySchool -> Kingdom Attitudes
SundaySchool -> 1. Motivate Over what matters do families often disagree? what program to watch on tv what time the teenager must be home how long the kids get to spend on the phone can I have my own car where to go for vacation how to spend money
SundaySchool -> 1. Motivate How do you feel when you wear a brand-new suit or outfit? special if you dress good you feel like you’ll do good hope people notice you feel sharper than usual confident you enjoy getting the compliments Transition
stevearmstrong -> Session title: “InJoying Forgiveness” focal passages:

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