At Work

We Need Leaders like the Men of Issachar

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David has his mighty men and attracted many skilled men to his camp. Most were great warriors, but David also had the benefit of the men of Issachar:

Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command. (1 Chronicles 12:32)

These are fabulous attributes for you to emulate:

  • They understood the times.
  • They knew what the nation should do.
  • They were leaders together (“200 chiefs”).
  • They were with their families.

We need Issacharian leaders today who can work together. There are enormous changes coming our way. These are hard trends which we won’t be able to ignore, and they will affect you, your family, your work, and the people/communities/nations you care about.

For example:

  • Over the next 10 years computing power will be 100x what it is today. Another 2 to 2.5 billion people will be connected via the internet.
  • Technological progress will eliminate many of the jobs people hold today (and create new work opportunities). Robotics, “artificial” intelligence, 3D printing, ubiquitous sensors, and biomedicine will dramatically improve.
  • Cyberwarfare will become as dangerous as nuclear warfare.
  • Urbanization will accelerate. We’re adding 21 million people (that’s three Chicago-land populations) to urban centers annually. Affluence increases and abject poverty decreases. In all but a few developing countries the aging population creates new stresses on society. We must produce enough food for 2 billion more people on the same amount of land, and find energy and water sources for everyone’s needs.

Nothing in our recent past prepares us for the magnitude of these changes. Our children may be amused at what life was like in 2015 when we only had smartphones and had to drive cars ourselves.

We can also recognize that some things will not change:

  • The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40).
  • Our need for wisdom (even more precious as knowledge floods around us).
  • The need for every generation to be taught what is important and how to live well.
  • God’s steadfast love and presence.
  • Christianity is demonstrably the best way to live in relation with God and with one another.

As leaders, we should lean into certain changes and do our part to shape changes to help people and glorify God. Here are mistakes you should avoid:

  • Assuming Jesus returns before you have to adapt to uncomfortable changes.
  • Assuming the government will take care of you, or even have your best interests at heart.
  • Trusting in the educational patterns of the 1900’s to be effective for young people in the future.
  • Overly trusting technological, economic, and political solutions to meet the deepest needs of our souls.
  • Underestimating how communication technologies can enhance our ability to share the gospel.
  • Thinking only of the negative impacts of changes, rather than looking for opportunities to serve more people.
  • Neglecting the sovereignty of God or the spiritual aspects of abundant life.
  • Forgetting that God will provide wisdom as we humbly ask for it.

These are wonderful days for the gospel. We need strong leaders with godly character to make the most of these changes. Romans 12:9-10 is still true and will remain true for us:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

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