“When there are too many people in a room, nothing gets done!” This is what I got this week. This is true. Too many initiatives, too many projects, too many tasks, too many agendas! Just too many people!
It brings me back to the story of Gideon’s 300. When they first started out with 22,000 men –down to 10,000 men and ending with only 300 humble savages. Yes the violent take it by force –which we must practice and live by from day to day.
“And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.’ ” And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained. But the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. Then it will be, that of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ the same shall go with you; and of whomever I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ the same shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.” And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water. Then the Lord said to Gideon, “By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place.” Judges 7:2-7 NKJV
Here is the thing with having too many people. We have too many ideas, too many opinions, too many differences –all leading to too many struggles for the team. Ideas are great and welcome but how do we deal with too many. Which is right and which should be excused? One of the ways that we learn this is just taking the basic principle from the text with Gideon. Choosing the right collaborators and team members. Those that are willing to listen, carry out tasks and have a sense of humility. Things are not always going to work in our favor but for the success of the team –we must surrender our own agenda so that we can collaborate well. The leader that God placed in that moment was Gideon. One day we will all get to that stage and when we do, we need to handle it well.
Gideon heard God and carried out his example and the men heard Gideon and followed through. That is what true leadership is about. Can you drink from the river like a dog? How humiliating that must have been –completely out of the ordinary. Only 300 did and were selected to be a part of a tremendous victory for the entire nation!
What you do is not just for you –its about the people. It is about the greater cause and there should always be a better way to be the leader that also knows how to serve for the entire team. That is the goal. This is where everyone wins.
Here is a prayer from “The Maxwell Leadership Bible”–that we would be discerning leaders, good listeners, intuitive, well-networked, flexible, optimistic and perceptive.
Let us be the kind of leaders that are ready to surrender our own will so that we can attain the greatest victories ever! God we know you want us all to win. May we begin with that submissive heart that makes a way through demonstrating the right attitude. This way we truly know we have the right collaborators, the right contributors and the right community of excellent leadership.
Amen and Amen!