BY REV DR SAMSON ‘SUPO AYOKUNLE
Text. Daniel 6: 1-5
“It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
Wise and task oriented people don’t rush to take up leadership positions because they know that leadership is is a great burden. Many people just look at the paraphernalia of office and rush to take it up. Most of the times, such people fail. If you see somebody doing all he can to occupy a position, know that he/she is either looking for self glory or what he or she would benefit from it, not what he or she would offer. It is God that usually chooses task oriented leaders, using men and women. We know that without your own effort, God puts you in this position because you did not lobby for it. We would therefore urge you to do your best without disappointing God nor those who put you in this position. May the Lord help you so to do.
From the life of Daniel, let us consider some qualities of great leaders which you must possess in order to succeed in office and give Church and Christendom a good name.
The Qualities of Good Leadership
1. Be controlled by the Holy Spirit…excellent Spirit was found in Daniel and because of that he was a distinguished leader.
It is not possible to serve faithfully or acceptably with flesh.
The guidance of the Holy Spirit would deliver you from errors and also give you discernment about those who should and should not handle things for you. Many people would hovering round you now! Be careful of them. Many of them are out to serve their stomachs. Note that it was because Jesus began his ministry in the power of the Spirit that his fame was heard everywhere.
May you be sensitive to the Holy Spirit like Daniel and our Lord Jesus Christ in Jesus’ name.
This is the degree of trustworthiness, accountability and integrity with which the leader executes his or her assignment. One of the things killing our nation Nigeria today is scarcity of trustworthy leaders. The nation is crawling because some, if not many of those in leadership are untrustworthy. The are embezzlers and rogues. You cannot commit any resource into their hands and expect good returns. Many companies in this country had shut down because of unfaithful managers and workers. Our country is in great danger because of this. This unfaithful leadership does not exclude some of us in the leadership of the church. Some that wear long robes use it for deceit. They can be bought with any amount. This shows that the church is not ready for the bridegroom. Please, I plead with you, be faithful. Leave a good name for yourself in office and your generations after you.
Draw a line of where you are starting the leadership of the commission from. Bothering yourself bout the part may wear you out. You can never be asked to account for what was not given to you but be ready to give account always of what is put in your care.
3. Be Strategic, that is, be Circumspect
In this passage, Daniel was a painstaking leader. He didn’t rush to do anything neither did he allow anybody to rush him. He calculated well every action he took to the extent that there was no room for error. He did his home work. Like Nehemiah, he did mapping. He had oversight of the assignment before enlisting co-workers. The faultfinders pursued Daniel in vain. Be careful therefore in selecting your team. Put round peg in round hole. Many noise makers that would come around you are people who would ruin your leadership. Be wary of them. You will not take any step in error in Jesus’ name.
4. Be Prayerful, putting God First in Everything
The people looking for the downfall of Daniel got none except for the matters concerning his devotion to God. He was a man of prayer. That was part of the leadership legacy that Daniel left behind. Please, leave behind you there a legacy of godliness and righteousness. Through prayers, God you would win battles. Those who know how to saturate every step they take with prayers will never fail.
Jesus says in Luke 18: 1 that, ‘I wish that people always ought to pray and not to faint.’
5. Be Courageous to Take the Right Step
Entrenching good policies would be met with pockets of resistance. You must know however that you are the one to account to God about the running of the commission. Because of this, let no person intimidate when you are taking the right decision.
The Lord encouraged Joshua to be strong and be of good courage. Joshua 1: 6-7
With courage as well, be ready to take risks but be led by the Spirit.
6. Be creative like the sons of Issachar.
The sons of Issachar distinguished themselves from the rest leaders in Israel because they were people who understood times and knew what Israel ought to do.
(1Chronicles 12: 32) That was creativity! They were people who generated ideas and ideas rule the world. With creativity, the commission would move to higher grounds.
The pastor who turned a place of poverty to a place of prosperity through ideas. Ideas rule the world.
7. Be a Servant Leader by Making Humility your Watchword
People may hate you because you always stand for what is right but they can never deny your humility in service. Do not Lord it over those serving under you but gently and humbly carry them along in your leadership. Let them feel very important no matter how small the assignment you give to them may be. A humble leader would always appreciate the contributions of others. This appreciation is the reinforcement you would give them to do better in the subsequent assignment. Jesus washed his disciples feet. In your humble leadership, serve with your team and take good care of their welfare as Jesus did.
May the Lord help you to be His own pride and the pride of the church in the name of Jesus.
Being a full Text of the sermon preached by the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson ‘Supo Ayokunle at the Thanksgiving Service in honour of the new Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission, Rev Dr Yakubu Pam today 30 July, 2020 at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.