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Church’s Role This Election: 7 Traits of the Right Leader

This year will set the course of global affairs for the next 100 years! How the people of God respond in 2012 will lay the groundwork. To be concise, the Church must be on the front line this year and lead the way forward. We are excited the new year has arrived, and we believe this is the time when a matured, Kingdom-envisioned Church has awakened and is prepared to keep our focus while avoiding all distractions and deceptions of the past season.

As we look toward the upcoming local, state and national elections on November 6, I want to direct us to the Word of God — specifically 1 Samuel 16:1-13. In this passage, we gain insight for moving out of the past season and into the next. The prophet Samuel was grieving over Saul’s national leadership and was told by God, rather forcefully, to get over his disappointments and move forward!

Some in the Church are like Samuel and must move out of their disappointment in the current national leadership. In 2008, many who love America and confess faith in Christ voted from a soulish perspective or political party motivation as opposed to a Biblical worldview perspective. In addition, there was high-level spiritual deception operating in 2008, and even the Church was influenced as evidenced by the confusion seen in the political and religious arenas.

As Samuel, some believers must overcome fear of how others will respond to them as they now take a step forward to see our next President set in. The declaration will have to be: “I am sacrificing to the Lord in this and not my own preferences, cultural expectations or political persuasions.”

It’s understandable to have preferences of political policy, leadership
style and voting records. Yet, we see the problem when we operate solely from these and ignore the critical question.

Samuel was momentarily immobilized by what he saw and could have made a costly mistake for his nation. It’s alarming when the man of God, the prophet, the one assigned to hear from God is uncertain as to the type of national leader needed at a pivotal point of history. Our great nation simply cannot spiritually, morally, economically or militarily afford the Christian church to walk in uncertainty in 2012.

In Genesis 1:2, we see the Spirit of God hovering over the earth in preparation for when God spoke and light came. As a people and a movement, the Spirit of God has hovered over us and prepared us to be a light for all of culture, which is often formless, void of moral certainty, and desperately trying to find the exit sign from a room saturated in darkness.

The primary question today is: Who is prepared to lead us forward? Samuel overcame his own emotions, fear of others, the lure of outward appearance, and settled into hearing from God concerning the one God had raised up to lead forward.

The next President must be one the Christian community can support and one who carries the mantle to lead the nation in this time of economic, social and political uncertainty. Who is prepared to lead the U.S. and influence the international scene?

In numerous conversations with believers in the evangelical community, our conclusion is there has been uncertainty among God’s people. A significant number of leaders are saying they simply can’t support some of the candidates. Let’s be reminded it was Samuel the Lord chose to send to Bethlehem and anoint a young David as King. The Church
can’t sit on the sidelines and be spectators for the next two months!
Seven things to look for in our 45th president:

1. A proven problem solver. Out of the debris and rubble of high-level
problems, God often elevates a leader who has the ability to bring solutions. Today’s high-level problems are a clear summons for one who has a successful record of problem solving. The lure of an enthusiastic, fresh new leader must not sway us from the timeless principle of the Word — God builds leaders in the midst of difficult situations.

2. One who has played on a team. Never trust a leader who has not participated in a team sport or function. The current crisis can’t be resolved by a leader who chooses to be isolated. Some leaders are prone to be internally distant and resist connecting with others at a level that builds trust, cooperation and accountability. While good leaders are confident, they must realize the importance of surrounding themselves with people of integrity, wisdom and loyalty.

3. One who seeks and implements divine wisdom. We will not emerge from this crisis on the merits of human wisdom or political astuteness. A leader’s spiritual life is of vital importance to their policies, procedures and general atmosphere within an administration. America’s next president must be one who fears God and seeks His wisdom.

Let’s raise the bar of our faith and believe for a Commander in Chief who consults apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists (church leaders) — one who can properly align the civil government with the government of God. In Scripture, it takes all five offices to have the full wisdom of God.

4. One who will make difficult decisions in the midst of tremendous
opposition. A dangerous epidemic has filled the streets of America from rural communities to major cities. This epidemic lives in the minds and emotions of the American people.

Civil government is expected to provide for the needs of people while some civil rulers feed this mutual slavery because it offers them security. Our next president must have the character to say no to the wishes of a generation that tends to think one-generationally.

One-generation thinking wants immediate gratification at the expense of future generations. A Biblical worldview thinks multi-generationally. Saying no to a system which offered him the highest office in the land, and includes supporters, will require a leader with a rare level of courage. This type of leader will be America’s most valuable asset.

5. One who is a strong leader yet understands how to lead as a priest. America needs someone who leads from a position of recognizing they are under authority and not a dictator.

As high priest, Jesus could be touched by the people and He interceded for them. He is King and Priest.

The reason some candidates rose to front runner status in the primaries this election cycle was due to being seen as priestly and possessing an ability to relate well to people. America needs leaders who resist the temptation of arrogance while having substantive positions on important policies.

6. One who will not be ensnared by the pressure to bail people out of
problems. The violation of God-given boundaries by civil rulers seeking to become a savior must be stopped. The current economic season has and will continue to drive people, families and businesses into a place of desperation. Desperate people do things they later regret. Out of desperation, people will look for leaders to rescue them. From this womb of desperation, a dictatorial political leader can be birthed.

7. One who instills a legitimate confidence back in the American people. At great moments in history, leaders emerged who instilled confidence in people. Be it military, political, church or national leaders, they were able to rally people for a cause and mobilize them for unprecedented action.

America is at a crossroads, and we must have leaders at the local, state and national levels who instill confidence into people. Genuine confidence mobilizes action, and optimistic people are the best economic stimulus we have. Watch for leaders at every level who offer a genuine hope while presenting a realistic plan that calls for sacrifice.

Image: Samuel Cursing Saul; Hans Holbein the Younger; public domain

Hope Taylor is president of International Leadership Embassy, a ministry with the mandate to educate and engage the Church. ILE works to transform America and the nations for the purpose of cultural reformation, particularly within the realm of civil government. Hope pastored for 20 years and served in numerous regional and national leadership capacities. He is a contributing writer who speaks to churches, community groups and conferences in the United States and other nations. (