Dave Kistler:                      Well, it was over 200 years ago when a man in civilian clothes rode past a small group of tired and battle weary soldiers as they were digging what appeared to be an important defensive position. The leader of the group wasn’t making any effort to help. He was just shouting orders and threatening to punish the group if the work wasn’t completed within the hour. “Why aren’t you helping?,” The stranger asked from his horse. “I’m in charge. The men do is I tell them,” said the man, and then he added this, “Help yourself if you feel so strongly about it.”

                                             Well, to the man’s surprise, the stranger got off his horse and did help the men until the job was completed and before the stranger left, he congratulated the men for their work and approached the puzzled man in charge and asked him this, “You should notify top command next time your rank prevents you from supporting your men and I will provide a more permanent solution. Sound good?,” the stranger said.

                                             Up close, the now humbled tyrant recognized general George Washington and that day he learned a lesson he would never forget. Well ladies and gentlemen, I want to welcome you to Stand in the Gap today, I’m Dave Kistler, joined today by one third I guess of our team, Dr. Gary Dull. Sam’s away today, and I don’t know about you, but I love true leaders. I’ve become over the last 35 years, a student of the topic of leadership and I say this humbly, but I say it honestly, I’ve had the distinct honor of working for and with some of our nation’s best leaders. So today we’re going to address this topic, life altering leadership. What is it and how can I become that kind of leader?

                                             So to begin our program today, I want to establish a working definition of leadership because we have to know what we’re talking about. So Gary, you’ve been a leader in churches and communities, in public and in private for decades, so could you do this for us? Could you give our listening audience today just kind of in a nutshell what leadership is?

Gary Dull:                           Washington.

Dave Kistler:                      George Washington is it, huh? He embodied it. Did he not?

Gary Dull:                           I would like to have been there when he gave that lesson to that fellow, you know what leadership is all about and of course George Washington was a good leader, but you know, there’s a definition that I’ve used down through the years, Dave, and this could be broken down and we won’t take the time to break it down today, but leadership is the ability to teach, to serve, to exemplify, and to motivate others to accomplish a clearly defined vision. And of course, I know that we’re going to delve into this whole concept of leadership today and there’s a lot in that definition, but that’s sort of what I would say that leadership is in a nutshell, the ability to teach, serve, exemplify, and motivate others to accomplish a clearly defined vision.

Dave Kistler:                      Gary, I love your definition and I want to add another one. This is of course, not original with me but it comes from leadership guru John Maxwell, and Maxwell said this, Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less,” and of course with that, I would agree. One of my best friends and a former pastor used to say this, “If you think you’re leading, but no one is following, you’re not actually leading, you’re just out for a walk.” And that pretty much says it all.

                                             One of the best definitions of leadership I’ve ever read is this, and in fact it goes all the way back to a freshman speech syllabus from my college days, but it was drilled into me. In fact, we had to memorize this. “A leader is an individual whose character, knowledge, and judgment commands respect.” Again, I’ve never forgotten that. So Gary, the life altering leader is someone whose character, that is what he or she is, their knowledge, what they know, and their judgment, what they do,

                                             is respected. In other words, a life altering leader must be, know, and do or they’re not really a leader, at least not a leader that’s going to forever alter someone’s life or maybe perhaps a group or an organization’s life. What about that definition, Gary? Someone whose character, knowledge, and judgment commands respect. Would you agree?

Gary Dull:                           Oh yes, I agree 100% because if a leader does not have respect, he certainly will not have anybody following him. I think that’s a very, very good definition, Dave.

Dave Kistler:                      Well, Gary, let me ask you this, before we go really any further into the subject, we’re going to work off of this definition, a leader is someone who’s character, knowledge and judgment, not demands respect but commands respect. Gary, there’s a vast difference, and having been a pastor who worked with volunteers as well as paid staff, you know well the difference between someone in a leadership position and by the way just because they occupied the position or have the title leader does not necessarily mean they are a leader or necessarily that they are that leader in that particular organization or in that particular setting. But you know, well, Gary, there’s a difference between demanding respect and commanding respect. I’d love for you, if you wouldn’t mind just kind of help our listeners understand the distinction between demanding something and commanding something.

Gary Dull:                           I think that that’s a good distinction Dave, and I’m glad that you brought that up. You know, if you demand something that means you go to people and you say, “I want this. I demand you to do this. I demand you to respect me.” You want to put it that way. Whereas when one has the type of character and knowledge and judgment that commands respect, it simply means that people want to follow that individual who is a leader and I have found down through the years, David, that the best leader is not the individual who is demanding that respect, but one who has the type of character, the type of quality, who has the example, who has the attitude of service that people want to follow him.

                                             And I know down through the years I have known people, whether they be pastors or whatever the case may be, that when you look at them and the style of leadership that they portray, you just respect them and it’s not them who commands the leadership. I mean, it’s not them that commands the respect, it’s the quality of leadership that they have that brings the respect from other people toward them.

Dave Kistler:                      Gary, I am glad you went the direction you went. A leader that commands respect is somebody that people want to follow versus someone they have to follow, and you’ve worked in situations both in the secular world as well as in the ministry world where you’ve had to follow someone because they had the title or they had the position of leader, but then you’ve been in situations where you wanted to follow someone merely because of the strength of their character as you said, or their ability or just the resolve, the firm resolve to Christ, or to leading other people in a way that’s honoring both to God and to that individual and you just wanted to follow them. You desired to follow them. As my dad used to say, “You’d [inaudible 00:07:07] with a water pistol with them because you so greatly respected them.”

                                             Well, friends, I want you to understand everyone is a leader. If leadership’s most basic definition is influence, then everyone is a leader. The size of your organization or the number of people in your group is not the issue. If you teach a Sunday school class, you’re a leader. If you’re a parent, you are most definitely a leader. If you’re a little league coach, you’re a leader. It’s not just the CEO of a multibillion dollar corporation or President of the United States that’s a leader.

                                             If you exert influence over anyone, you are a leader. What we’re talking about today is life altering leadership. What is it and how can I become that kind of leader? And I want to take the three components of our expanded definition of leadership, which is this, a leader is an individual whose character, knowledge, and judgment commands respect.


                                             Ladies and gentleman, welcome back to Stand in the Gap today. Our theme today is this, life altering leadership. What is it? And more importantly, how can I become that kind of leader? And we’re going to delve into our expanded definition of a leader and that is an individual whose character, knowledge, and judgment commands respect. That is what a leader is.

                                             Now, as illustration of that, I want to share with you a little bit of a story. Friday evening, my bride and I attended the movie Overcomer. It’s the highly anticipated sixth film produced by Alex and Stephen Kendrick. You remember some of their other movies were War Room, Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants, which really took them to national and international prominence. Prior to that they did a movie called Flywheel. It had very limited release, but this is their sixth venture into movie making and after Friday night’s results, now this is just after Friday night, understand. Since Friday night there are possibly some additional numbers that are out, but Overcomer was the number three movie in the nation after opening night generating just that one evening 3.1 million at the box office on just over 1,700 screens, which is about half the number of movie screens that a typical Hollywood film will be seen on so significant that it ranked third after its opening night.

                                             Overcomer’s strong initial showing puts it on pace to be the Kendrick brother’s second best opening night movie. Of course, it’s a faith based film and it also earned a rare A plus cinema score which is awarded by moviegoers as they are polled upon exiting the movie making Alex Kendrick the second director in history to receive three A plus cinema score ratings. The previous films for which he received that rating were Courageous and War Room and on average, just to help you understand how significant this is, only two films a year, two films a year, earned that coveted A plus cinema score.

                                             What’s equally impressive is the acting performance in Overcomer of several of the movies lead characters, specifically actor Cameron Arnett who plays a blind man in Overcomer. Now I’m not going to say any more about that lest I betray the plot, become a little bit of a spoiler for you if you’ve not yet seen the film, but what you don’t know is Cameron’s stellar background.

                                             Cameron Arnett, 58 years old, has been in a series of Star Trek, The Next Generation episodes, as well as Meet the Browns, but his career took a dramatic turn when he was asked to do something that conflicted with his beliefs. Moments before signing a contract, Arnett was asked if he would do partial nudity in the project he was getting ready to sign for and here’s the way he described it. “Hollywood told me that in order for you to be an actor, you have to do partial body nudity and I had to choose at that point between career or Christ and I chose Christ. But when I did, I lost everything.”

                                             In fact, he told them no even after they offered to use a body double instead of him in the partial nude scene. He went on and said this, “All hell broke loose. I lost everything. Agents left, everybody left, friends left, and I was left behind by the world and by everything that I had.” But the actor’s wife encouraged him a couple of years later to get back into the acting game and he’s chosen to do that. Only this time, he does projects that align with his faith and values and here’s the way he described it, “Now I have the ability to be myself everywhere and not have to compromise anything.”

                                             And ladies and gentlemen, I honestly can’t wait for you to see the movie if you’ve not yet seen it. And I’m going to say this, I’m going to say what I said to my wife as I leaned over to her after I saw Cameron in his role as a blind man in Overcomer. I said, “This is an Oscar worthy performance.” And when you see it, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. But most importantly, Cameron’s character is what I want to focus on in this segment as it’s illustrative of the first component of life altering leadership.

                                             Remember, our extended definition of leadership is a leader is a person whose character, knowledge, and judgment command respect. Our short version of leadership definition is influence. Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less. But to have that influence, you’ve got to have a character that commands respect. So Gary, talk a little bit about this character component and if you would perhaps give us one or maybe two stellar biblical examples of leadership or leaders, let me word it that way, whose character commanded the respect of those that were following them?

Gary Dull:                           Well, character is such an important concept, and of course it’s who we really are, what we really are, before the Lord, and you know there’s a difference between character and reputation. Reputation is what people think that we are and character is what or who we really are. Somebody said that character is what you are when you are away from home in a room that’s darkened all by yourself and no one’s around, what are you going to do there? And I’ve often thought that that’s quite a description of character and truly character does matter.

                                             You remember back during the Clinton administration that that was a big question. Does character matter? And it does matter in leadership. You’ve asked me to give a biblical illustration. I want to first of all give another illustration. You know the name John Peterson, I think, don’t you, Dave?

Dave Kistler:                      I do indeed, Gary.

Gary Dull:                           And of course you know he was one who was involved with Dr. Ralph Smith. A dear friend of ours who has done a lot in Christian music down through the years, and maybe you know this story, Dave, I don’t know, but he wrote a particular song once that one of the three networks, I don’t know if it was ABC, NBC, or CBS, wanted to use that particular song for one of their advertisement campaigns that they were doing and so they invited him to New York and he went in and he talked down to the network executives and they said, “We really love your song and we want to use it, but there is one word in there that we want you to take out. Just one little word.” And they offered him millions of dollars to use that particular song and so he said to them, “Well, what’s the one word you want me to take out?” And they said, “We want you to take the word God out.”

                                             Well, immediately he said no. He said, “If you want to use a song, you’ve got to use it as it is. We’re not going to take God’s name out of that particular song.” Well, he walked out of that office, the network did not take the song. He walked out of that office and he said, “You know, I wasn’t too happy, but I had the joy of knowing that I did what God wanted me to do.”

                                             And that’s what character is in leadership. It’s doing what we know God wants us to do. And I’ve often thought of that down through the years and what a testimony, but also what character was brought forth there, and as I transfer that over to a biblical personality, Dave, I think of Joshua back in the Old Testament. You know, Joshua had a job to do and I’m not sure that he wanted to do it. After Moses had died, God selected Joshua to lead the children of Israel across the Jordan River and into the promised land. He had been working with Moses for all these years, for forty plus years, and he knew how cantankerous the children of Israel were. He knew that they weren’t the easiest people to lead, and I think that that’s why in that first chapter of Joshua over and over again, God said to Joshua, you know, “Be strong, be of good courage, I will provide for you.” I think that God was just saying to Joshua, you follow me and I will bless you.

                                             Well, we know that he had a great task not only to lead the children of Israel, but to go into that promised land and to conquer all those who were there. All those Kings and people that were there beginning with the city of Jericho. Well, Joshua took on the task as a leader. He had character, and that character of course is reflected in what he said in Chapter 24 and Verse 15 where he says, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

                                             Now that’s brought out in Joshua 24 but way back in Joshua’s early life, I think you can see that back in the days of Kadesh Barnea, when he and Caleb went in along with those other ten spies to spy out the land, his desire was to follow the Lord. That’s what his character was and that’s what he did. And you know, you talk about demanding respect or commanding respect, certainly the people of Israel followed Joshua, his character, the character that he had commanded their respect, and the Bible tells us in Joshua Chapter 11 and Verse 23, “So Joshua took the whole land according to all that the Lord said unto Moses, and Joshua gave it toward inheritance under Israel according to the divisions by their tribes and the land rested from war.”

                                             And then over in the Book of Judges, Chapter 2 and Verse 7 where it reflects back upon Joshua, it says, “The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua.” And so you see, he was, I believe, a stellar example of leadership there in the scripture, a great leader for us to follow. I’m thankful that we’ve got such a man as Joshua to set up as a standard in leadership.

Dave Kistler:                      You know, Gary, one of the great preachers of the past D.L. Moody said this, “Character is what a man is in the dark.” That is when nobody’s around him. And then Moody also said this, “The only men safe outside the sight of a policeman is the man who carries his policeman with him and that policeman is called character.”

                                             So what a person he is through and through in their heart of hearts, in their core, is what we’re talking about and so a leader must be a person whose character commands respect and Gary, you know, our ministry in Washington DC allows us to rub elbows with and rub shoulders with some high profile people, and tragically the political world, especially Washington DC, is filled with people who many times don’t have character. They are one is what they are. In other words, they occupy a position of leader but sitting in a chair does not make you a leader. What you are in your core makes you a leader.


                                             Well, China signaled on Monday that it’s now seeking a calm end to its ongoing trade war with the United States and of course they’re doing this as Asian markets crumbled and China’s currency plummeted to an 11 year low, and all of that came on the heels of the latest tariffs on $550 billion in Chinese goods. That was announced last Friday by President Trump. Then president Trump on Sunday announced that officials from China had contacted U.S. Officials and expressed interest to “get back to the table.” This is according to the Wall Street Journal who did the reporting on that and he called the discussions “a very positive development. They want to make a deal and that’s a great thing.” Of course, that again was President Trump.

                                             The news of a possible opening in negotiations came shortly after President Trump threatened to declare a national emergency that would result in American businesses freezing their relationships with China and Trump’s tariff barrage on Friday was a response to China’s imposing its own retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. Goods. Well, I don’t know about you folks, but I’m just going to say it this way, for too long China has succeeded in getting by with committing financial murder against the United States and finally, finally we have a President who refuses to merely talk tough but do nothing.

                                             Now we have a leader who’s putting American interests first, which I believe of course is the essence of what or who any American President should do or be. And then yesterday, the U.S. Stocks open 200 points higher based on the positive news on the trade front and of course all of this is a result of news that emerged from the G7 meetings in France as well. The Dow Jones industrial average opened more than 0.78 percentage points up after President Trump said that trade talks with Beijing are continuing despite last week escalation in the trade war and then the President also announced at the G7 meeting that he had reached a $1 billion trade deal with Japan.

                                             So all of that is good news and let me just quote the president one final time. He said, “There’s great respect for the fact that President Zou and his representatives want a calm resolution. So impressed that they are willing to come out and state the facts so accurately. This is why he’s a great leader in representing a great country. Talks are continuing.”

                                             So Gary here is our President who has incessantly called China out for its unfair and dishonest trade practices, including the thievery of our intellectual property to the tune of $500 billion annually. He’s also gotten us into a trade war with China. The pundits and the “experts” have stated that we’re on the verge of recession and we simply cannot challenge China in this way and win, yet it appears as if President Trump has done and is doing precisely that he’s challenging China. What does this say, especially after the Dow opening up 200 points higher yesterday. What does this say about his knowledge and by extension, his leadership?

Gary Dull:                           You know, Dave, we’ve talked about Donald Trump a lot on this particular program and the East Carter phenomenon as an individual in the sense that as it relates to a good part of his past lifestyle is something that we would not certainly encourage, but yet it appears as though God has given him exceptional knowledge to lead this particular nation of ours and you talk about that here. You know, what does this say about his knowledge and his leadership?

                                             He has an understanding about business that I think that God has given him, and that’s why I believe that God has him there in the White House right now. When they start talking about the fact that he’s bringing on the recession, he doesn’t even see a recession coming. I don’t know if you’ve noticed what he has said and what some of his staff has said out of the White House.

                                             They don’t think a recession is going to happen. In fact, I understand that he is putting into place some components that even if there would be the thought that a recession might be on the horizon as it were, he is trying to stop it, but you see they don’t believe it’s going to happen because he is making the kind of decisions that’s going to prevent it from happening. And what he’s doing with China, Dave, is what Presidents should should’ve done thirty years ago.

                                             You know, people talking about this trade war. Yeah, you know, it might hurt us for a little bit. It might set us back a little bit, but in the long run, what it’s going to do is strengthen our economy and strengthen our position in the world and that’s what really needs to be done to, as it were, make America great again and to put other countries and in this case, China, in the place that they ought to be in relationship to trade. He wants fair trade, he wants free trade, I think, and he’s working toward that, and I think that if people would just let Donald Trump do what he wants to do from the business perspective, we would see that the outcome would come quickly and would be effective and would be lasting.

Dave Kistler:                      You know, Gary, one of the things that was said with respect to the President’s decision in this ongoing trade war as some are calling it with China, Lindsey Graham said this, he said, yes, this is going to be temporarily painful for us, but long term this is doing as you said, what Presidents should have done for decades and they’ve been unwilling to do so. They’ve just not had the backbone to do it and so President Trump, of course, it got him into trouble, but he used the phrase, “I’m the chosen one to deal with this China’s situation.” And it was in that context with China that he used that phrase.

                                             He views himself as being the one who has been given the responsibility to straighten this out and stop this inequity in our trade relationship with China and I agree. I think he knows a lot more by far than people are giving him credit for. How do you build, you know, an $11 billion empire and not know what you’re doing financially. Has he suffered financial losses? Yes, but what business has not. The fact of the matter is he’s rebounded from those financial struggles and built a phenomenal empire, so he obviously knows what he’s doing when it comes to trade.

                                             He’s rubbed elbows with these people well before he became President of the United States and his knowledge with respect to these issues, in my estimation, Gary, is being proven stellar time and time again. Let me ask you this. It was Harry Truman who said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Let me repeat that. Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers. There’s a great danger for the pastor or the politician, the teacher, really anyone who has done something for a long time. Maybe they have a number of advanced degrees, but they’ve ceased learning.

                                             That’s not just a dangerous place to be. I believe, Gary, it’s a disastrous place to be, so I’d love for you to comment on that. We’re talking about a leader is a person whose knowledge commands respect. It’s absolutely essential that a leader never cease learning. He’s got to continue to learn, he’s got to be an ongoing learner and to do that, in my opinion, Gary, he’s got to read and read widely. What do you think?

Gary Dull:                           Well, I agree and if you don’t mind, I will answer that question in a moment, but may I, with your permission, just drop back and make a comment on that phrase that President Trump said when he said, “I’m the chosen one to do this.” He received a lot of criticism about that, but I don’t think that he … And I listened to that over and over again, David. You and I really haven’t talked about this, but I don’t think that he was trying to put himself up on the pedestal. He may have been, I do not know, but I think that what he was saying there was two fold.

                                             Number one, I believe that he knows because of the spiritual advisors that are around him, that God has put him in that position, and you know, Dave, that’s what Romans Chapter 13 says. “It is God who puts people into governmental positions.” So I think that’s number one. And number two, I think that he realizes that he is the one that was chosen by the American people to bring the United States of America back to, in this case, financial strength as it relates to trade in relationship to other nations of the world.

                                             And so I think he realizes he was chosen by God, he was chosen by the people of this nation to do what needs to be done to strengthen our country. You may disagree with that. We’ve not talked about it, but I’ve thought about that over and over again and that’s really just what I think he was doing in that particular statement. Now as it relates to your question, does a leader need to be a reader? Absolutely, and the reason why is that things are constantly changing. Every day new things take place and if a leader is not a reader, he or she is not going to be able to understand what’s going on in the world around him or her.

                                             I think that that’s a very, very significant element of leadership, knowing what’s going on, and you know, I’ve often said to people that if you want to be a good Christian, and let’s put it into this application, if you want to be a good leader, it’s important number one, to read the newspaper. Let’s put it this way, read the news every day, whether you get it off the newspaper or off the internet, know what’s going on in the world around you, and then read your Bible and bring the two together. Reading is a very significant component in good, strong leadership.

Dave Kistler:                      You know, Gary, Jesus, I think we would all agree is the consummate leader. He is the perfect example of leadership in every way and in Luke 13:3 it’s amazing to me, Verse 1, let’s go back up there, luke 13:1 down through Verse three it says, “There were present at that season some that told him of the blood of the Galileans, that Pilate had mingled together with the sacrifices,” and I don’t have time to go into all that was going on there, but there were people when Jesus arrived in that particular town who said, hey, what about this? And they cite something that had happened that was fairly widely known and Jesus commented on it, preach the powerful message on repentance, and then he brings up his own situation. He said, “What about those 18 at the tower that Sloan fell on?” In other words, Jesus was very keenly aware of what was going on around him in the news of the day, so he was, if we could say it this well read. So leaders have to be people whose knowledge commands respect.

                                             We’ve adopted a short definition for today’s program. We’ve defined leadership as influence. Influence, that’s the short definition, but our expanded definition is this, a leader is an individual whose character, knowledge, and judgment commands respect, and in our first couple of segments we dealt with the character component, the knowledge component. Now in this final segment, I want to deal with the judgment component. Webster defines judgment this way, “The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible solutions.” He also uses the following synonyms, discernment, acumen, shrewdness, astuteness common sense, good sense, perception.

                                             So in other words, a person who has judgment has discernment, they have astuteness, they have common sense, good sense. They are able to perceive not only what’s going on, but the motivations behind the truth behind what’s going on, and I don’t think there’s a greater example in all the Bible of someone who had God-given judgment or discernment than King Solomon.

                                             You remember the story in 1 Kings 3:16-28, two women come to King Solomon. One of the women said, “Your majesty, this other woman is here with me and I live in the same house. Not long ago my baby was born at home. Three days later, her baby was born. No one else was in the house with us. One night while we were all asleep, she rolled over on her baby and suffocated it and died. Then she confiscated my baby claiming it’s hers, and we want you to come up with a decision with respect to this baby because we’re both claiming it is ours.” Well Solomon, in great discernment, called for a sword to be bought and he said to one of his servants, “Take that sword, divide the baby in half, give one half to the one woman, other half to the other woman,” and immediately the woman who was the genuine mother, the baby said, “No, no, no, no. Give the baby to this woman.” And Solomon said, “No, you give the baby to her. The one who said, give my baby to the other woman,” because she’s the genuine mother of the child, she was more interested in the child’s life than just having the child herself. Wow, what discernment. What incredible wisdom.


                                             Gary, I want to go to you. There’s a lot of places we could go, but I want to take appropriate time to do this. Our topic has been life altering leadership, what is it, and we’ve tried to define it today. Leadership is influence, that’s the short definition. More expended definition, a leader is a person whose character, whose knowledge, and whose judgment their decision making commands respect.

                                             Well, we’ve defined what a leader is, but what I want to do in this final segment, I’m going to ask you to lead us through it. How does one become a life altering leader? Someone who’s character, whose knowledge, whose judgment, affects either other individuals or perhaps groups or an entire organization in such a way that that individual, that group, that entire organization, their future is forever altered. How does anyone become that kind of life altering leader?

Gary Dull:                           Well Dave, that’s a loaded question, but you know, you talked about Solomon and let me go back to him. When you come into Second Chronicles, you find that Solomon is beginning his reign as King and basically God said to him, “Ask me whatever you would like.” And Solomon said to God there in Verse 10 of the First Chapter, he says, “Give me now wisdom and knowledge that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can judge this thy people that is so great.”

                                             There’s a lesson I think, David, that we can learn from that particular statement of Solomon and that is this, if we ask God for the wisdom to be the kind of a leader that God wants us to be, if we ask him to give us the knowledge to be the kind of a leader he wants us to be, he will do it, but it all goes back to the concept of living in obedience to God and His word.

                                             I’ve often heard people say that you either have the quality to be a good leader or you don’t. Well, I don’t necessarily agree with that. I think that every one of us can be good leaders if we apply biblical principles and I think that that’s what Solomon did. He asked God to give him wisdom and knowledge and God gave him exceptional wisdom and knowledge and thus, he was able to lead Israel. And isn’t it interesting David to note that during Solomon’s reign in Israel, the nation was at peace. He was able to make the right decisions and come to the sensible conclusions that you talk about as it relates to Webster’s definition of judgment. Why was he able to do that? Because he sought God’s wisdom and God’s knowledge.

                                             And then I think of the Psalms and we don’t have time to delve into it, but in Psalm 1, particularly Verses 1, 2, and 3, it says that when we do not walk in the counsel of the ungodly or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful, that is we keep our lives right with God, set apart unto him, separated them to him, that God is going to bless us and when we delight ourselves in the law of the Lord, the word of God says that we shall be fruitful and whatsoever we do shall prosper.

                                             If one wants to be a life altering leader, he must spend time in the word of God, he must have a relationship with God, and then God, I believe, will give that individual, whether he’s the President of the United States, the pastor of the church or the leader of a family, God is going to give that individual all the wisdom and all the knowledge that he needs to be the kind of a leader that will change the lives of people, but it goes back to a good solid relationship with God, obeying the word of God, and then there will be all sorts of biblical character traits that will be developed in that person’s life that will enable them to be the leader that God would have them to be.

Dave Kistler:                      Gary, I’m going to sum up what you’ve just said. It’s got to be God first. God’s truth, God’s glory. It can’t be about the person, it can’t be about you, it’s got to be about God and His glory. It’s got to be about others. Solomon said, “I need wisdom to lead this people. It’s not about me, it’s about them.” So God, His truth, His glory first, others, and then Solomon asked, “God, give me this, which I need.” He was dependent on the God of heaven, which means he had a humble spirit. Folks, these are the essences of life altering leadership.