Blog: Max Dawson
June 12, 2017
In our previous thoughts on leadership we identified Joshua as one of the great leaders in God’s kingdom. Yet, he was unable to influence the people of Israel to do right when they came to the Promised Land (). The ten spies who were in opposition influenced the people to rebel against God.
Looking at the larger picture of Joshua’s life, that incident in only emphasizes what a great leader he was. Joshua–and Caleb–were men of persistent faith who did not change their position because of hostility from others.
While it might have been easy to give up as he faced adversaries, Joshua did not weaken nor yield. Even after the ten spies had given their terrible report, Joshua said to the people, “The Lord is with us!” (). It can really be discouraging when the enemies of righteousness are loud and numerous–as they were in this case. We can be tempted to fold and just give in. That is what we must not do. Joshua still insisted that Israel could be victorious in taking the land.
What did Joshua get for his faith in God? He and Caleb almost got a stoning from the people (). Had the glory of the Lord not appeared in the tent of meeting, these two men might have lost their lives! [Read more…]

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Blog: Max Dawson
June 8, 2017
In our previous thoughts we identified leadership as the ability to influence others. “Leadership is influence.” It is the ability to get others to follow you, to look to you for guidance and direction. If no one is following your lead, are you really a leader?
Joshua will always be known as a great leader in Israel. His name is synonymous with victory and leadership. He was the leader of the tribe of Ephraim. When we study Numbers and 14, we see Joshua as one of the men who were sent to spy out the land of Canaan. In spite of his leadership qualities, it appears that he did not have much influence on others at this time. [Read more…]

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Blog: Max Dawson
June 5, 2017
There are a variety of misconceptions about what leadership is. Here are four myths about what constitutes leadership.
1. Intellect. While it is an advantage if leaders are intelligent, that quality by itself does not guarantee that a person can lead others. We have seen cases of those who are extremely bright who may have no common sense. They cannot lead.
2. Achievement. One of the greatest drivers in NASCAR is seven time champion Richard Petty. Yet, when he ran for Secretary of State in North Carolina, the people rejected him as leader. Achievement does not equal leadership.
3. Management Skills. Is a good manager always a good leader? In the corporate world a man may move from project manager to CEO–and fail. He may know materials, machines and methods, but have no people skills.
4. Position. This is the most common myth about leadership among Christians–that if a person has a position, that automatically makes him a leader. King Saul is a great example of someone who was given a position of leadership, yet could not successfully get others to follow him. In fact, on one occasion his own army rebelled against him because of a foolish decision he made ().
Sometimes men think, “If they would just make me an elder, then I would be a leader.” We do not appoint men to the eldership to make them leaders. We appoint them to the eldership because they are leaders.
If none of these things makes one a leader, then what does? Read on. [Read more…]

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Blog: Max Dawson
June 1, 2017
When I was 17 years old (just five days out of high school) I joined the U.S. Air Force. At the induction center in downtown Indianapolis I was assigned to organize and lead a group of about 15 men–to make sure they were all at the right place at the right time. Like me, these young men were being inducted into the Air Force.
I was given that assignment because of the scores on my aptitude test (a test of reading, math and mechanical skills). Seven weeks later, at an Air Force Tech School in Amarillo, I was assigned to be the leader of my class on the same basis. By the way, those scores on my test were not that high. They might have mixed up my scores with someone else’s–or maybe the low scores just said something about the quality of recruits. I don’t know.
But, there I was, fresh out of high school, barely 17, weighing in at 125 pounds, and standing five-foot, seven-inches. (I still had 40 pounds and a couple more inches to go.) I knew nothing about leadership. Some of the guys I was supposed to lead weighed twice as much as I did. They were five or six inches taller. But I was their leader–or so I was told.
Do you think that was a good method for making leadership assignments? What pitfalls could you potentially see in this method? What could possibly go wrong?
The fact is, I was given a “position” of leadership. In my judgment, there is not much relevance between aptitude tests and leadership skills. [Read more…]


Blog: Max Dawson
May 29, 2017
Does that sound right to you–that God’s leaders today should be bold?
Some folks think the word “bold” doesn’t fit well with God’s leaders. In fact, they think it doesn’t fit well with Christianity itself! They think God’s leaders, as well as all Christians, are supposed to be quiet and passive.
Yet, what do we find when we go to the Bible? [Read more…]


Blog: Max Dawson
May 25, 2017
When we look into God’s book we see several men (and women) who were called by God to fill special roles in His service. It is significant that God calls individuals to be leaders–not committees. Committees rarely lead. Individuals lead.
Someone said, “God so loved the world that He didn’t send a committee.” [Read more…]


Blog: Max Dawson
May 22, 2017
“Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, and doesn’t know where to find them. Leave them alone and they’ll come home, wagging their tails behind them.”
Oh, really? Leave them alone and they’ll come home? Not likely. Sheep finding their way home may happen in a nursery rhyme, but not in real life.
In real life, sheep will rarely find their own way home. Sheep need shepherds. When they have wandered away, someone has to go after them and find them and bring them home. [Read more…]


Blog: Max Dawson
May 18, 2017
There are plenty of sources to which you can go to learn about leadership. You can pay for and attend a leadership course. You can buy leadership books at Amazon. You can watch Ted Talks on your computer. Probably some good stuff in each of these sources.
But the one source that has been overlooked by many folks is the Bible. [Read more…]


Blog: Max Dawson
May 15, 2017
I put out these emails every Monday (Max’s Monday Musings) and Thursday (Max’s Thursday Thoughts). I write them to help and encourage the people of God.
For the next several weeks I am going to focus on leadership issues. I have already published a couple of messages on that topic in the past week. I have now decided that I will take a little while and focus exclusively on leadership. If you have a question about leadership, or if you would like for me to address a specific quality of leadership, just respond to my email with your question. While I may not be an expert on leadership, I have learned a number of things in my 30 years as an elder and in my 47 years of preaching the gospel. I think I have learned some things that may help others.
The need for leaders among God’s people is more apparent than ever before in our generation. [Read more…]


Blog: Max Dawson
May 11, 2017
What do you think about the question? Are the most effective leaders just born that way? Or did things happen along the way that made them leaders?
We must admit that some people are born with advantages that others don’t have. If a person is taller than others, good looking, with a fine voice, that person has some advantages. But those advantages don’t make him a leader. There are plenty of folks with those qualities who have no leadership skills at all.
Yet, most people believe that some folks are just born leaders. It seems that lots of folks in the Lord’s church think that way. Could that be an excuse for not working to become a leader?
The greatest leader in the Old Testament is Moses. A born leader? [Read more…]


Blog: Max Dawson
May 8, 2017
Why were the people of God punished and carried off into Assyria and Babylon as slaves? The short and easy answer that Bible students give is “idolatry.” And that would be correct, but there is more to the story! [Read more…]