Posted by: everynation | July 26, 2009

Leadership is “Giving Up” not “Holding On”

wsmleaderscircle.jpgby Steve Murrell

After many sad stories of bad leadership, the Book of Judges ends with these words: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.”

Why were there no kings? Why were there and no good leaders?

The only parable in the Old Testament (Judges 9) reveals why good leadership is so rare – especially in civil government and in the church.

Here’s a quick summary of the parable: The olive tree, the fig tree and the vine, when asked to serve in leadership, all had the same response: “Should I give up my fruit/oil/wine?”

The olive, the fig and the vine instinctively knew that serving in leadership involves a “giving up” of something. But sadly, too many wanna-be leaders hold on and refuse to give up. They think leadership is about getting, rather than giving.

Are you willing to give up power, time and reputation in order to serve in church or government leadership?  If not, then we will continue to have lousy leaders.

What have you had to give up in order to serve as a leader?

Steve Murrell is a missionary, pastor, and the author of “The Reluctant Leader” and “The Accidental Missionary.”



  1. I agree. I am currently leading a ministry in our Church but constantly I am hounded by wanna-be leaders in the same ministry. I did not ask for this leadership, and I am willing to give the floor to those who want it, but I think these people want it for the glory and pride… I don’t…can serve whichever way I go.

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