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May 2013 - Leadership Lessons from Hosea

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John A. Kline, PhD jkline@klinespeak.com
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Dr. John KlineIn recent months, we examined leadership lessons from Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. This month we look at Hosea, a prophet who was a living lesson for the love God has for his people. Here are three lessons we can learn from Hosea.

Leaders must be subject to their superiors. As a sign that God wanted to reclaim His people, Hosea was told to reclaim his adulterous wife, Gomer. This was not something Hosea or most anyone else would choose to do, for Gomer had other lovers, but Hosea followed the command of God to buy her back at the slave market. Often leaders must follow the orders of superiors who have a more strategic or long-term view. This does not mean we must not ask superiors any questions, nor does it justify atrocities attributed to “just following orders.” But if subordinate leaders trust and respect their superiors, then they must be subject to them.

Leaders must play by the rules. Hosea was not a rule breaker. He refused to go along with the crowd, which was not following the rules of God. Athletes who don’t play by the rules are ejected from the game. Businessmen and women who break the law will eventually pay in one way or another. Sometimes we want to do it our way instead of the right way. Due to my age and the fact that in earlier years I “abused my body” through athletics and work, I have suffered joint replacement, general arthritis, and other ailments. I know I must now play by the rules of eating healthy, daily exercise, and taking care of myself if I wish to keep moving and be productive. If I fail to play by the rules, I lose.

Leaders must be willing to confront others in love. Hosea confronted the people about their sin and lack of loyalty to God. Through my life I have had the responsibility to lead groups ranging from five people to over five thousand. I have been a parent raising teenagers, a leader in a mega church, the top academic official in a large university, and am now following my passion of teaching and leading a great group of college students. In every situation, I have had to confront those for whom I had the responsibility to lead.  To not do so, would be “dereliction of duty;” yet I have attempted to confront with a love and concern for the well-being of my followers. 

Hosea is a great example for leaders to be subject to those in authority over them, play by the rules, and confront others in love.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

May 2013 - Leadership Lessons from Hosea
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