Leadership in most times requires one to take the road less travelled.
And this is even more so with godly leadership, as standing on God’s truth usually demands us to stick out like a sore thumb among the crowd.
Just look in the Bible and we can read the scores of stories about the prophets that chose to obey God and spoke against the Israelites wayward practises towards God.
Their obedience in many cases led them to being persecuted and excommunicated from their people.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Even the apostles during the early Church chose to proclaim the Good News despite of orders by the high priests and authorities to stop or face punishment. And end of the of their ministry, we see that all but one of the apostles were marytered.
Godly leadership is usually counter-cultural in our world, but sadly, at times this may also includes within the Christian culture.
The Greatest Revolution
In Germany in the 1500s, Martin Luther created the greatest revolution of all time when he set about reforming the church in embracing salvation as a gift by faith, not something to be earned.
The church reacted immediately to his challenge of the pope’s authority. It branded Luther a heretic and attempted to assassinate him but he went into hiding.
While in his seclusion. Luther accomplished his most important work: he translated the Bible into German, the language of his people. Before this, the Bible had been in Latin which only the elites could read. By availing the Bible to the people, this would later change Germany and others.
Luther didn’t intend to leave the church, Like others before him, he wanted to bring it back to its foundational beliefs, to bring reformation.
Voice for Equality
In America where discrimination against the blacks was rampant, Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. entered the civil rights movement in 1955. By that time, he was a Baptist minister, a husband and a father and he did all to make people realise that “all men are created equal”.
King became the most important voice of the American civil rights movement, which worked toward political and social equality for all races. He was famous for using non-violent resistance to overcome injustice, and he never got tired of trying to end segregation laws.
From the time he assumed leadership to his assasination 13 years later, he faced hundreds of death threats. His home in Montgomery was even bombed, with his wife and young children inside.
But the defining moment of King’s life came after a threatening telephone call at midnight alarmed him: “Nigger, we are tired of you and your mess now. And if you aren’t out of this town in three days, we’re going to blow your brains out and blow up your house.”
Shaken, King went to the kitchen to pray. “I could hear an inner voice saying to me, ‘Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo I will be with you, even until the end of the world.'”
Today the entire world especially America owe it to King for liberating them from the burden of centuries-old hypocrisy about race. It is only because of King and the movement that America can claim to be the leader of the “free world” without inviting smirks of disdain and disbelief.