Saul was made king three times! But only after proving himself was he truly embraced as Israel’s leader.
Here are three things that happened to Saul that helped him grow in influence and be embraced as the leader:
1. Anointed of God. This may seem like a no-brainier, but many try to put themselves in a place of influence because they are gifted or asked to stand in such a place. When it comes down to it, though, I’ve seen “leaders” that can draw a crowd and work a group but can’t lead. The thing they are missing is the anointing of God. Don’t underestimate the importance of God’s anointing. This is critical! Once you have it, guard it. Be sure you’re walking blameless and in favor with God. Don’t lose it! It’s the central spring of your influence.
2. Confirmed by leaders and influencers. “The prophet is subject to the prophets.” An anointed leader of God will be seen by other leaders as such. It’s not a popularity contest; it’s just that leaders seem to have a way of knowing who the other leaders in the room are. When the people who are already in a place of leadership begin to recognize someone’s leadership ability, it grows influence quickly. Influence can be gained because the other leaders and influencers are passing down the influence they already have.
3. Accepted by the people. Finally, if God anoints you and other leaders confirm that anointing, then the people will follow you. Some people try to jump the first two steps of the process and wonder why no one will follow. Let the people see that you have the anointing, and they’ll see they should follow. Remember when Joshua took the spot of Moses? They agreed to follow Joshua because they understood why they should. Joshua had God’s anointing and Moses’ confirmation.
“Jesus continued to grow in favor with God and the people” (Luke 2:52). Jesus grew in influence. If Jesus had to grow at it, we will too!
Artie Davis is the pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, S.C. He heads the Comb Network and the Sticks Conference. He speaks and writes about leadership, ministry, church planting and cultural diversity in the church. You can find his blog at ArtieDavis.com or catch him on Twitter @artiedavis.
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