I never would have thought that "Freaks of Leadership" would be the most viewed and shared article I have written, but it is. What excited me so much was knowing that it was only the first installment. Before we advance let me review. Freaks of nature are the mysterious, legendary leaders who find a way to excel no matter what the conditions are. They are rare, hard to find, and uncommon. It's easy to think of all the leaders in our world today that are freaks of nature - Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Zuckerberg, and Meg Whitman - to name just a few.
You see, everyone wants what everyone else has but they are unwilling to do what the freaks of nature in leadership do. I have had a mission for nearly 30 years of ministry - "At the end of the long days and late nights did anybody hear about Jesus?" Yes, that has been my person mission. It drives me to work hard because I know that my mission can impact eternity, not just the earthly. If you want the uncommon, you will need to do the uncommon.
All throughout the Bible you discover that even thought there are over 3,200 individuals mentioned by name and nearly 1,500 that remain unnamed there were some gifted leaders who did more than the average. They were Biblical freaks of nature. Isaiah, the prophet, was a freak of nature because He was willing to pray a crazy prayer: "Lord, Here I am, send me." He was willing to speak a hard message because it was a right message. Joshua was a freak of nature because his leadership was best seen in his public declaration - "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord." His leadership was not tell you what to do, but show you what to do. Moses had to be a freak of nature because he led over 1.5 million people on a 40-year journey. Anybody that can organize that road trip with a bunch of whiny adults deserves to be mentioned as a freak of nature in leadership.
How could you talk about Biblical freaks of nature without mentioned Esther. She was willing to walk into the kings presence without an invite (which could have led to death), so that she could save her people, God's people. She was granted favor "for such a time as this." A woman in Bible times walking into the kings chambers without an invite was not normal. She walked in like a boss and saved her people. Dang, that's a freak of nature.
If average was their goal they would have done nothing. But they wanted to do something great for God and became Biblical freaks of nature, because they did what no one was doing where no one was doing it. And the Bible is full of those types of leaders - Noah, David, Daniel, John, Peter, Rahab, Jeremiah, Deborah, Mary, Paul, and so many more.
I have discovered that many, if not most, of the Biblical freaks of nature had 5 characteristics that drove them to do something beyond their ability.
They were willing. Each person that accomplished something significant in the Bible was willing to do what God had asked them to do. They was the starting point of their heroic acts.
They were obedient. Willingness is not enough. You have to be willing to do what God had called you to do. Every significant leader in the Bible that made history was obedient. the Bible contains the names of those who were not obedient. Their legacy ended with their disobedience.
They had faith. In order to obey a God that you have not physically seen you are going to have to develop a faith grit. "No matter what I am going to follow God." the Bible teaches us that it's "impossible to please God without faith." Every Biblical freak of nature in leadership had intense faith.
They had issues. Yes, one of the things I love about the Bible is that it is raw. It does not gloss over people's issues. Many of the great leaders in the Bible still had things they had to work through - some never did. But this reminds me that "if God could use them, He can use me."
They had success. Now every level of success is different, but if you accomplish what God has called you to do the results are up to Him. Oh, that should be freeing. Scripture says, "Some plant, some water, but God gives the increase." Success comes from the hand of God, but it is best seen in just our willingness to obey.
Undoubtedly, the great leader in the Bible is Jesus. He is beyond the definition of a freak of nature. He is the creator of all things. But as He walked this earth, you see a leader that was worth cities following Him. But fast-forward 2,000+ years and nations follow Him. His authority and leadership has not stopped. Jesus' leadership transcends time and space. Jesus' ultimate goal was to seek and save those that are lost. Ambitious goal. All 117 billion people that have ever walked earth - that was His goal. That remains His goal for anyone else that would be born. Jesus' message of hope, restoration, salvation, and heaven still drives his 2 billion followers today. That's a freak of nature in leadership.
The greatest leader of all - Jesus - left such a mark on the world that his influence continues today. That's the ultimate goal of those with a freak of nature leadership. It's not as much about name and fame, but influence and legacy.
Who would you add to the list of Biblical freaks of nature in leadership? Write your who and why in the comments.