Joshua went on a long, arduous journey with his people. He knew who the officers were, and he knew who he could count on to fulfill important responsibilities. Whenever there is a change in leadership or new positions are added, however, we are faced with important task of getting to know one another.
Once I accepted a leadership position where I didn’t know anyone. I was unfamiliar with each person’s unique gifts and how they contributed to the group’s dynamics. Though I desired to delegate tasks, I wasn’t able to without first getting to know the people on my team. I slowly started to meet with people to learn their gifts and strengths, and I postponed delegating for a bit too long. This gave the wrong impression about my leadership style. Several of the ladies thought I wanted to do everything myself, and this created tension between us.
As leaders, there will be times when we need to be patient in delegating, slowly getting to know our teammates and fellow staff members. But we also need to delegate as much as possible, knowing that groups are stronger when we all play a part. So, quickly get to know each person, talking with them about their gifts, talents, and passions. Ask them how they’d like to contribute. Then delegate appropriate responsibilities. Delegating will build stronger comradery on your team and ease your workload. It’s a win for everyone.
3. Carry on the vision.
But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you after he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest by giving you this land.’” —Joshua 1:12–13
Joshua understood the vision given to the previous leader. He knew God directed him to carry on that vision to completion, and he made this clear to the people of Israel when he began, “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you.”
We may not know why our predecessor left his or her position, but we must always respect the person as the former leader. We are each a link in the chain, accepting our part in working to see God’s plan fulfilled. It’s important to remember that God has already been at work on this team or in this ministry. Rather than throw everything out and start fresh, explore the vision God has already established first.