Recently I visited founder of Safe Families for Children, Dr Dave Anderson, at the Chicago office. I never cease to be filled with inspiration after spending time with Dr Anderson and his team. An added bonus was to once again have the privilege of attending the Global Leadership Summit at Willow Creek Church. This has become one of the highlights of my year. The sessions are always informative, challenging and incredibly inspiring.
In one of the sessions, the difference in Moses’ and Joshua’s leadership style was discussed. Moses was the reluctant leader who always needed to be persuaded by God that he was called to the task and God would be with him every step of the way. When confronted with grumbling, ungrateful people, and hard-headed rulers, God had to keep urging Moses to take the next step.
Joshua was a natural optimist and when others saw problems he saw opportunities. He was one of the twelve spies that went into Canaan. Some reported giants and pitfalls awaiting them but Joshua described a land overflowing with milk, honey and grapes. Later, when confronted with the walls of Jericho, again Joshua saw nothing but an opportunity to take the territory in the name of the Kingdom of God.
Despite their different approaches, both men gave the credit to God. Moses looking back, grateful for the push God gave and the other looking forward, privileged to be a part of God’s divine plan for his people and his kingdom on earth.
When I think of Safe Families and what I feel God has called us to do, I want us all be faithful and persistent like Moses and strong and courageous like Joshua. As I look back on the past few months there seem to have been no shortage of challenges – indeed many things would hold us back and stop the programme from moving forward. But when I am tempted to lose heart I remind myself why we are doing this! To help families going through a crisis get back on their feet. Whatever the challenges, the goal is worth it…we exist to improve the lives of children and families.