The making of a leader. Lessons on leadership from the life of Joseph.
Lesson # 1: Character. Joseph’s family legacy and consequent basic personality.
Series overview: Lessons on leadership from the life of Joseph including: Family legacy. God’s gifting. A leader at all times. Character building. Dealing with your own demons. Building the church spiritual family. Preparing the future.
Approach: biblical, spiritual, psychological, and experiential.
Applications: Be a leader in church, motherhood, fatherhood, at work.
CCI Church’s vision: See spiritual leaders emerge.
Title: A cocky young dreamer or so he seemed to be.
Theme: The making of Joseph’s character from birth to youth. The first seventeen years of his life.
I.Joseph has character, a basic leadership quality:
A.Biblical picture: Read Genesis 37 :1-17
B.Characteristics of Joseph’s character relating to leadership:
Summary: Joseph appears to be an incredible young man of character, outstanding among his brothers, honored and trusted by his father, hated by his siblings, favored by God, dressed and poised for leadership.
1.He is a hard WORKER , a shepherd (v 2), a harvester (v 7).
Ex: Read Proverbs 31:10-31 The Virtuous Woman, the Wife of Noble Character (NIV heading), the Entrepreneurial Woman.
2.He had leadership qualities, he was the head SHEPHERD according to JFB commentary.
Joseph . . . was feeding the flock--literally, "Joseph being seventeen years old was a shepherd over the flock"--he a lad, with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah. Oversight or superintendence is evidently implied. This post of chief shepherd in the party might be assigned him either from his being the son of a principal wife or from his own superior qualities of character; and if invested with this office, he acted not as a gossiping telltale, but as a "faithful steward" in reporting the scandalous conduct of his brethren.
Leaders lead, they are spotted by employers. They stand out, emerge, volunteer, and are reckless unless involved in the organization.
3.He is WISER than his age would suggest according to JFB commentary.
Ex: By wisdom God created the world. It is the first gift listed in 1 Cor 12:8 James talks about its importance James 1:5, 3:13-18.
4.He tells the truth about life (v 2), reports things as they are, and is LOYAL to his father.
He is a faithful steward.
5.He is hated by his siblings (v4)
Ex: The Pharisees hated Jesus because he was a better religious leader than them and they plotted to kill him.
6.He has assurance, boldness, courage, tells the truth of God, his dreams, he does not FEAR his siblings ( v 6, v 9)
Ex: Timothy is exhorted by Paul to speak up 2 Tim 4:2, 1 Tim 5.
7.He is OBEDIENT, to his father (v 13)
Obedience and submission to God and the people of authority placed over us.
8.He is CONSISTENT accepts confidently the mission given by his dad and intends to carry it to completion:
JFB 12. his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem--The vale of Shechem was, from the earliest mention of Canaan, blest with extraordinary abundance of water. Therefore did the sons of Jacob go from Hebron to this place, though it must have cost them near twenty hours' travelling--that is, at the shepherd rate, a little more than fifty miles. But the herbage there was so rich and nutritious that they thought it well worth the pains of so long a journey, to the neglect of the grazing district of Hebron [VAN DE VELDE].
13-17. Israel said, . . . Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem?--Anxious to learn how his sons were doing in their distant encampment, Jacob despatched Joseph; and the youth, accepting the mission with alacrity, left the vale of Hebron, sought them at Shechem, heard of them from a man in "the field" (the wide and richly cultivated plain of Esdraelon), and found that they had left that neighborhood for Dothan, probably being compelled by the detestation in which, from the horrid massacre, their name was held.
17. Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan--Hebrew, Dothaim, or "two wells," recently discovered in the modern "Dothan," situated a few hours' distance from Shechem.
Leaders can be counted on, they will find solutions to problems, and they will carry the task to its completion.
9.He is MORALLY strong.
Ref: 1 Cor 6:15-20 on the devastating spiritual effects of sexual immorality.
Remarks: Joseph stands out in contrast to his siblings:
a.to Simeon and Levi who are violent and treacherous (Gen 34)
b.to Reuben’s incestuous action (Gen 35:22)
c.to Judah (Gen 38) the business man who married outside the clan, went with a prostitute, and was slow in obeying the redeemer’s law.
d.to his siblings: (Gen 37:2) whose conduct generates evil reports.
B.The importance of character in leadership:
1.Character is important in a leader:
2.A fearful and uncertain leader will PROJECT his fears and anxieties in his leadership.
Ex: Moses 2 extreme reactions towards service: assertive and aggressive (Ex 2:11-12) and then refusal (Ex 4:13).
3.God helps us fix what is missing and the issues related to our character if we let him.
God is the divine potter who can SHAPE and reshape us to be who we are supposed to be.
First we need to know ourselves, what our lacks are, where we are at so we can call God to the rescued.
II.Character building and the family legacy:
A.Character related general comments:
Affirmation: Whether we like it not, we are who we are and we are where we are at!
Definition: Our personality is the product of all we have GONE through, how we have REACTED to it, and of what we have settled for.
Contributions: Our parents and/or the significant people we have been raised with have subconsciously influenced our development.
Since we have accepted GOD as our Father, he has made an incredible difference and we are a tremendous work in PROGRESS. With humility, openness, faith, etc., we can be the leader God envisions us to be.
B.Joseph’s family legacy, factors which contributed to his development:
1.Parents in love: Jacob had an incredible love for Rachel.
Fell in love with her. Worked like a slave for 14 years just for her (Gen 29:16-28)
Rachel was remembered by God because she prayed and she became pregnant. Gen 30:22
Jacob’s altars: a model for his children: Bethel (Gen 35)
3.A loving mother: Loved motherhood so much she named him “add other children God” (Gen 30:22 paraphrase BB).
4.A loving father:
a.Jacob loved Joseph. Expressed it, showed it. (v 3)
Spending time with Joseph had allowed Jacob to influence him, by telling about him his life stories, his life journey.
b.Jacob showed his love to Joseph: the gift of the robe. (v 3) A sign of distinction.
c.Jacob trusted Joseph and gave him responsibilities
d.Jacob was a spiritually growing role model: After the birth of Joseph Jacob decided to go back to the Promise Land where he belonged; this started a changing process during which the “cheater, supplanter”(meaning of his name Jacob) would be changed by God into “a prince of God, someone who has fought with God and men and prevailed”(Israel).
Our father’s walk of faith is a key element in modeling leadership and spirituality for us.
Ex: The good and bad fatherly and motherly role models mentioned in the Chronicles of the kings of Israel as a key factor to whom they became.
e.The death of his mother :( Gen 35:16-20).
Joseph no doubt comforted his little brother Benjamin and his father after Rachel passed away.
Ref: We comfort tapping into the comfort God gives us (2 Cor 1:3-4).
Side application: Be especially thankful for your godly parents, your parents, however they were or are.
Recap/transition: I love Joseph, his innocence, his dedication, his character. Joseph is probably in that sense one of the highest figures, models we can look up to and want to be like in the OT. His life is an incredible type of Christ.
But the best of the OT characters is pale compared to JESUS, the NT model par excellence and the Christian concept of God’s love and character found in 1 Corinthians and Galatians.
Let’s now move to the chore virtue of Christian character described in the New Testament: agape-love (1 Cor 13:4-7) and see the kind of character the Spirit of Christ wants to develop in us through the fruit of the Spirit(Gal 5:22-23) .
1 Corinthians 13: 4 Charity suffereth long , and is kind ; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself , is not puffed up , 5 doth not behave itself unseemly , seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked , thinketh no evil; 6 rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.(KJ)
Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance:…
III.Evaluating our character, our personality:
1.Self-awareness of our level of confidence, love, etc is necessary to pray and allow the spirit of God to develop the fruit of the Spirit by faith in us through prayer.
2.The basic 2 dominant factors a child needs: The sense of being and belonging transmitted by his mother’s tenderness and his father’s strength. Psychologist Paul Sing (Rekindling your Spirit)
3.Ultimately God is your Father and wants to be the factor that will redeem, compensate, add where our parents missed or our wrong choices and reactions have missed.
4.Developing a character based on Agape-Love and the Fruit of the Spirit:
Consciously, voluntary aspiring after the perfect, (mature, whole, complete) personality that God wants to develop in us: the character of Christ, the fruit of the Spirit including Agape-Love.
5.Character self-tests grids :
Purpose of the tests: Not to discourage us, jut to help us realize that we can only be saved by grace, and that the imitation of Christ is only possible by receiving more of the love of God in our hearts, more of the fruit of the Spirit in our spirits by prayer, faith, and a willingness to obey and practice these Christian virtues.
Show us that God is at work in to transform us in His likeness and that he BELIEVES in our growth.
Born again Christian are called to be disciples, servant-leaders in their couple, family, church, community, society.
Christian leaders develop a Christ-like character by tapping with prayer and faith into the resources of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Christian character development is not magic, automatic, or acquired for ever; it requires fellowship with the Father, awareness of where we are at, honesty, constant work, prayer, determination, hope.
It is about constantly working on a quality of “being” that will reflect our Lord and affect our “doing”.
It is the most exciting thing in the world. “being changed from glory to glory”.
1.Self-Evaluation Homework: Self-test # 1 Agape-love grid. Self-test # 2 Fruit of the Spirit grid. Self-test # 3 Joseph’s leadership. Self-test # 4 Joseph’s upbringing. Self-test #5 God and godly people: help you see how God is at work in your character or help you let God influence you, bless you more character-wise.
Take the test.
In test #1 as suggested in column 1: read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 in The Message and write down its rendering line by line in column 2.
Find out where you are in your practice of the Christian virtues and set goals for this year: Rate your level of practice of the Christian virtues from a scale of 0 to 10 . Write your goal in the next column, how much you would like to practice these virtues these year. Write your prayer asking God to help you grow in that specific virtue.
2.Extra application: Read the Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2nd Timothy and Titus) on leadership qualities.
3.Shoot me an email if you have questions about the test at email@example.com.
JFB Bible Commentary public domain.
KJ Bible public domain.
Lessons: Rev Bernard Copyrights
|Joseph #1 Test 1 What is my agape-love level?|
|Greek. KJV||Other renderings||Definition||Rating (0-10)||Goal (0-10)||My prayer|
|Agape. Love||agape (1 Cor 13:4-7)||cross inspired love|
|chara. Joy||greeting "grace"|
|eirene. Peace||inner strength||greeting "peace"|
|makrothumia. Longsuffering||perseverance , patience||tolerance as putting up with others|
|chrestotes. Gentelness||kindness||also goodness, generosity; the ideal servant was named Chrestos|
|agathosune. Goodness||and generosity|
|pistis. Faith||faithfulness, assurance||fidelity to God and others|
|prautes. Meekness||gentleness||humility, gentleness|
|enkrateria. Temperance||self-control thoughts||sexual self-control|
|thoughts, words, actions|
|Joseph #1 Test 2: The fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:22-23|
|Greek||KJV||Meaning||Questions on evaluating ourselves||My rating (0-10)||My goal (0-10)||My prayer|
|chara||Joy||Greek christian greeting "grace"||How graceful am I?|
|eirene||Peace||inner strength, greeting "peace"||How peace making am I?|
|makrothumia||longsuffering||perseverance, patience, tolerance as putting up with others||How tolerant am I with others?|
|chrestotes||gentleness||kindness, also goodness, generosity; the ideal servant was named Chrestos||How kind and ready to serve others am I?|
|agathosune||goodness||and generosity||How generous am I?|
|pistis||faith||faithfulness, trust, fidelity to God and others||How faithful am I to others and to God?|
|prautes||meekness||humility, gentleness||How gentle am I?|
|enkrateria||temperance||mental, verbal, sexual self-control||How self-controlled am I in thoughts, words, and deeds?|
|Joseph #1 Test 3: Evaluating your qualities|
|character||position||Questions||rating (0-10)||goal (0-10)||My prayer|
|hard worker||shepherd, harvester||What is my level of hard working?|
|leadership||head shepherd||To which extend do you act as leader?|
|wisdom||What is your level of wisdom?|
|loyal||What is your level of truthfulness, loyalty?|
|despised||hated by his brothers||To what extent do you notice you are despised because of your leadership position?|
|truthful||What is your courage level to tell the truth?|
|assurance||What is your level a of assurance?|
|obedience||What is your level of obedience?|
|consistency||How much can you be counted on?|
|moral ethics||What is your level of moral ethics?|
|Joseph #1 Test 4: Evaluating your upbringing|
|Joseph's context||Joseph's family||Questions||My rating (0-10)||How did that level help build a healthy or lacking character in me?|
|Parents in love||Jacob and Rachel||How much were your parents in love?|
|Father||in general||Did your father's strength build personal confidence within you and to what extent?|
|Mother||in general||Did your mother tenderness feed your need to be loved and to what extent?|
|Praying parents||Rachel, Jacob||To what extent were your parents praying parents?|
|Father's love||Jacob||To what extent did you feel your father loved you?|
|Father's trust||Jacob||To what extent did your father trust you and give you responsibilities?|
|Role modeling||Jacob||To what extent was your father a good role model?|
|Joseph #1 Test 5 : God's redeeming work since the new birth|
|Joseph's characteristics||Questions||My rating (0-10)||How does that impact your character? Think about specific examples.|
|The love of God||for you||How much do you feel loved by God?|
|The Fatherhood of God||strength wise||How much do you let God father you in the sense of giving you inner strength?|
|The Fatherhood of God||tenderness wise||How much do you let God father you in the sense of giving you tenderness of heart?|
|Personal prayer and prayer influencers||in your life||What level of impact has your prayer life and the influence of other praying models on your character?|
|Spiritual role models||Biblical||What level of impact had or have biblical role models such as Joseph on You?|
|Spiritual role models||Contemporary, close to you||What level of impact had or have good Christians on you?|