A Leader Will Experience Loneliness
The Art of Leadership By Dag Heward-Mills
Loneliness is the way of all leaders! To be a leader means to be ahead of the crowd. Being ahead is a lonely place to be. Leaders are lonely people. Many decisions are left to them. Many leaders often have no one to share their problems with. Everyone depends on them. Their followers look up to them. They cannot voice their fears openly. Many followers feel that their leaders are fearless but any honest leader will tell you about real fears that ravage his mind on a daily basis. The very nature of leadership makes you a lonely person.
Some Leaders Who Experienced Loneliness
- Jesus prayed alone in the garden of Gethsemane whilst everyone else slept. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Matthew 26:39, 43-44
Jesus went to the cross alone whilst everyone else ran away. It was a difficult situation but all his disciples fled from Him. He was left alone. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
- Elijah was alone in the wilderness when he was fed by ravens. That is where he heard the call of God. He was all alone in the wilderness. Can you imagine being under a tree in the wilderness all alone and fleeing from a wicked woman? But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
1 Kings 19:4,5
- John the Baptist lived a lonely life in the wilderness.
He was described as a voice crying in the wilderness. This presents a picture of a dry place with no one else.
As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Do not be depressed if you seem to be a lonely voice in a wilderness. It is part of the call to leadership. You must hold strong your convictions, even if you are alone in the wilderness!
- David spent many lonely years running away from King Saul.
Even outsiders noticed that he was alone. Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?
1 Samuel 21:1
- Jonah was the only person cast out of the ship.
He went alone into the belly of the fish. He prayed out of that dark hole and God heard him. You cannot even start to imagine how you would feel in the belly of a whale?
Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, Jonah 2:1
- Noah was the only one who went into the ark. The whole world was full of wickedness. Not even one other human family went along with him. And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
- Abraham was selected out of his family.
God separated him into a life of loneliness away from the country and the family that he knew.
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: Genesis 12:1
- Moses was alone when he met the Lord in a burning bush.
He was also alone when he went up onto the mountain.
And Moses alone shall come near the Lord: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.
When a leader comes up with a new vision, old friends often back off and the leader is left all alone. Even the Lord was sending a message to the churches in Asia, the message was sent to the leaders of the churches. Leaders are often alone when they hear God speaking to them. Leaders must accept loneliness as a part of their lives.
Culled from “The Art of Leadership”