Be very careful to follow everything Moses wrote in the Book of
Instruction. Do not deviate from it, turning either to the right or to
the left (v.6).
British historian Arnold Toynbee once observed
that the rise and fall of societies has a one-toone
correlation with the quality of its leadership.
A recent study on the growth patterns of 60 churches
seems to confirm this observation. It reveals that where
the church leaders were positive, flexible, confident,
cheerful, and goal-oriented, the church was growing.
Joshua understood that leaders had played a big
part in shaping the life of Israel. When he was “very
old,” knowing that his time was limited, he organized
a Leaders Conference. He was determined to address
some key matters with the elders, leaders, judges, and
other officials of Israel.
First, Joshua reminded them of God’s faithfulness
(Joshua 23:3). God fulfilled His covenant promises
to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The patriarchs had
traversed the land as resident aliens; now their
descendants occupied it as the beneficiaries of God’s
faithfulness to His promise.
Second, Joshua told them to hold on to God’s promises
as they focused on the job at hand. Israel needed to take
full possession of the land out of obedience to God and
to enjoy His blessings. God’s promise of total victory was
tied to their being faithful in return. They had to press on.
There was still work to be done.
Third, Joshua exhorted the people to obey God’s Word
and allow it to govern their lives. They were to cling to the Lord and love Him
While some of us may not serve as elders or deacons in churches, leaders in
ministry, or executives in organizations, we’re all called to be disciple makers
(Matthew 28:19). Let’s stay faithful to our faithful God, loving both Him and
—Poh Fang Chia
Read 2 Timothy 2:1 for more “passing-the-baton” words from a leader.
Note the similarities between the messages of Joshua and Paul.
What changes will you make so that you can more effectively
encourage others to remain faithful to God? What core messages
are you presenting as a leader?