I own a book by the late Francis Schaeffer entitled “How Should We Then Live?” Schaeffer’s book laid the foundation for a video/DVD series with the same title during the 1970’s. The depth behind Schaeffer’s historical construction challenges even the mind of today, 35 years later.
The bottom line behind the ascent and decline of civilization and culture throughout history all comes back to leadership. Several events in history have been instrumental in shaping our present culture, good and bad.
Did leadership shape culture?
Did culture shape leadership?
Does leadership arise out of the need within the culture at a particular time or in the face of circumstance?
It is interesting to study the leadership of former presidents. Over the past 100 years the definition of leadership has changed with each decade based upon the leadership of this country and the pressing circumstances.
How should we then lead today? The moral decline of our culture, the corruption of political arenas, the agenda within religious venues, the standard of ethical practice, and the voice of right, all challenge us to answer the question. How will we answer?
2 comments on “How Should We Then Lead?”
Leadership definitely affects culture:
“So the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD which He had done for Israel….When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.” Judges 2:7; 10
Joshua had a profound affect on the nation of Israel. His effectiveness began in his own home. (Cf. Joshua 24:15) And while God desired faithful leaders for the nation, the home was also to be a spiritual stronghold – the home needed faithful leadership. God had commanded the home to be the spiritual backbone of the nation in Deut. 6. The command, “You shall teach them diligently to your children”, was to be from both the home and the community. A key instructional point was the reminder that the Jehovah had brought the nation out of bondage. God was a Savior. God was sovereign (as was exhibited over Pharaoh and false gods). Moses played a crucial role as a spiritual mentor. He had to be reverent toward Jehovah and strong in dealing with the people. The home was to be a place of reminder of God’s sovereignty and providence.
Joshua’s example was likewise powerful over Israel. The people served God because of him. But when Joshua died, the next generation turned away from God. Somehow the elders who outlived Joshua failed to maintain the teaching and reminders of God’s greatness for the next generation. So we see the strength of a nation’s inclination due to its national leaders, and the strength (or weakness) of a nation and its communities due to strong or weak leadership in the home.
Leadership shapes culture! And, as God’s leaders today, we can shape the culture of the church for tomorrow! Let’s make it a good one!
I read a quote somewhere that said that a leader takes you where you want to go but a good leader takes you where you need to go but don’t necessarily want to be.