I've been around enough leaders in my day to know that there is one thing that leaders seem to have trouble doing: leading. I've seen this more often than not within the church. Leaders lead.
Problem is, we are broken people who want convenient leaders. We want people to lead when we don't want to take the responsibility ourselves, when it's convenient to pass it off, when it's uncomfortable to take the leadership ourselves, when the outcome will not adversely or seriously impact us, when the results of decisions don't matter to us. But as soon as we are heavily invested in the results of decisions, we stand up and take notice, we have major concerns about the direction of things.
We certainly see this on a national level. People seem apathetic and unconcerned about the direction of things until you hit on their "pet" issue, then a firestorm erupts and they become involved. Trust me, I've been in this place myself in the past. I remain disconnected and unconcerned until something happens that has implications to me and then I somehow wake up and start paying attention.
Where was I leading up to the decisions? Was I praying? Was I actively taking part in the process? Was I asking questions, remaining concerned and connected? Did I feign trust in those who were leading me? Did I simply not care?
All of us lead and all of us are led by others. We will all have opportunities to lead some and follow others. What are we doing in those times? Are we remaining connected, at the very least through prayer, in decisions that are in the hands of our leaders?
1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." We are to be praying for our leaders, whoever they are, whatever they believe and support. Funny, the Greek words "panton anthropon" mean "all men," same as they mean in English. I guess that means ALL.
When things like this strike me, 99.9% of the time it's because I am feeling some conviction myself. I confess that I have not been diligent in this area. I need to do a better job praying for those who lead me. Presidents, senators, congressmen, governors, representatives, pastors, teachers, mayors, elders, whoever they may be, I need to be praying for them. If I'm praying for them and they frustrate me, at least I know who to complain to. If I'm not praying for them and they frustrate me, I have to ask myself why I've dropped the ball up to that point.
So, think about your leaders, whoever they may be. Have you prayed for them? Interceded for them? Offered thanks for them? If not, like me, what are we waiting for?