No one gets a pass on leadership.
Think of the most rigidly stratified societies in the world today. Maybe it’s a society stratified by class, gender, race, ethnicity, or economics--societies where these factors limit a person's opportunities and influence and keeps them “in their place.”
Even in the most rigid ones today or in the past, I'm always a bit surprised by people who rise to lead beyond and in spite of their stratification. Sometimes they lead at a national level, sometimes in certain sectors, and often as rebels or dissidents.
And in every case what I'm reminded of is that no one gets a pass on leadership.
It’s not to say that just anyone can rise to positions of broad influence despite the powerful forces that might be holding them down. But it is to say that the most powerful forces holding people down can’t be an excuse not to lead wherever and whenever God calls us to lead.
That’s what we have in Judges 4 – 5, where a woman rises up to lead Israel.
Her name is Deborah, and she’s the only female judge in the book of Judges. She rises to leadership in a rigidly patriarchal society. She’s not only the exception that proves the rule in regard to gender among the judges, she’s also one of the few exemplary judges.
Whenever a nation gets an exemplary leader—someone better than what they deserve—it’s a tender mercy of God, a gift. Deborah is a tender mercy. She’s was a gift to Israel. But she's also a gift to us. We can learn from her experience.
So this weekend we’re going to look to judge Deborah and note three powerful insights that help us be better leaders wherever we have influence.
The first insight will be that no one gets a pass on leadership.
Don't miss this weekend's sermon and pray about who you can invite.