The former president of the International Mission Board and pastor, Dr. Tom Elliff, talks often about living with a looming awareness of the presence of God. As Christian leaders we need to lead with a looming awareness of the presence of God. Moses was a leader who had a looming awareness of the presence of God.
The first forty years of Moses’ life he was a prince, and then he spends the next forty years as a shepherd. God calls him at 80 years of age to a monumental leadership task. Moses’ leadership journey and its relation to the presence of God provides several leadership implications for Christian leaders.
1. Having a relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ is foundational as a Christian leader.
The presence of God, a personal relationship with God, access to God through His Word and prayer, and walking with the Spirit are part of the Christian leader’s life. Deuteronomy 34:10 sums up Moses’ relationship with God, “And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.” The good news is every leader who is a follower of Christ has access to the LORD.
2. We need to humble ourselves before the Lord and seek Him constantly.
Moses wanted to know God and know Him better. “Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people” (Exod 33:13). Moses did not want to lead without knowing and experiencing the will of God. Leaders need to practice His presence and view their ongoing relationship with God not just as priority but as necessity.
3. God’s presence empowered and reassured Moses as he dealt with his fear and reluctance to lead.
“Moses came to view his skills from God’s perspective. Accomplishing God’s work was impossible without God’s presence. Conversely, Moses would learn that with every divine assignment also comes God’s equipping. God would enable his servant to accomplish everything he commanded him to do.”
4. The leadership of Moses offers a practical example of the need to delegate.
Shared leadership as Jethro advised Moses in Exod 18, and similarly, the apostles sharing leadership in Acts 6, will enable a leader to not neglect seeking the face of God in Bible study and prayer. It is important to note that both Exod 18 and Acts 6 emphasize the character of those on the leadership team. Character is of critical importance as the Christian leader delegates and shares leadership.
5. Throughout Moses’ life and leadership journey, God was at work to strengthen Moses’ faith and walk with Him.
Moses grew as a leader and as a follower of God through the experiences God led him to have and the people he encountered. Seminary president and leadership strategist Jeff Iorg writes, “Leadership roles, positions, callings, or assignments are God’s laboratories for leaders. God places us where we are (or may call us to a new place) so He can have the perfect laboratory for continuing to change us into the image of Jesus.”
6. Leaders can take confidence in the presence of God.
David Dockery notes, “In the face of challenges, optimism remains possible for the leader whenever God’s voice whispers, ‘I am sending you; I will be with you.’ Moses, Joshua, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Amos, Mary Magdalene, and others beyond number, in biblical times and in modern times, have found reassurance in the call and presence of God.”
7. The blessing of the Lord’s presence in our lives as leaders should cause us to rejoice in the Lord.
Followers of Christ have innumerable blessings to count. However, Christian leaders may struggle with reflecting joy in their lives.
David Dockery writes, “It is ironic that many Christian organizations do not reflect a culture of joy. The apostle Paul wrote the Philippian church to ‘rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!’ (Phil 4:4).”
Christian leaders may face challenges, deal with conflict, and serve in the wilderness. Let’s keep pressing on with a looming awareness of the presence of God.
Your brother in Christ,
 Tom Elliff, Pathway to His Presence (Fort Washington, PA: CLC Publications, 2014).
 Richard Blackaby and Henry Blackaby, Spiritual Leadership: Moving People on to God’s Agenda, 70.
 Iorg, The Character of Leadership, 7-8.
 Dockery, Christian Leadership Essentials, 297-298.
 Dockery, Christian Leadership Essentials, 205-206.