Church Leadership Insight: How To Take Over A New Position
The other day I was reading through scriptures when I came across this name.
Pharaoh Thutmose I: Exodus 1:8 Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
At first glance this name means nothing. I’ve never heard a sermon about him. Probably not too many seminary papers have been written about him. Yet he altered the history of the Israelites.
This Pharaoh enslaved the Israelites after they experienced many years of prosperity and right standing in Egypt. This happened after Joseph’s death.
Church Leadership Insight: New Leaders
It’s not surprising that a day would come when the regime in Egypt would change. History shows us that when there’s a change in power, the incoming king or ruler is usually threatened by those sitting in power.
It is not surprising that the incoming Pharaoh would not recognize the accomplishments of those that held positions of power before him. Every leader wants to leave their own legacy and not be tied to the legacy of someone else.
After all the Pharaoh did not want anyone to challenge or threaten his rise to power. Or as we may say in modern times, hinder our ability to lead…
This Pharaoh voiced two reasons for his concern of the Israelites. These two arguments would allow him to remove them from power and positions of power.
- the alarming increase in the number of the Israelites
- the fear of their aligning politically with a foe in time of war.
The words deal shrewdly implies a policy that would check their increase and exploit their labor potential.
Church Leadership Insight: Conflict With New Pastors
I have been in enough churches to know, when a new pastor comes on board, they want to build their own ministry. The last thing a pastor wants is to live in the shadow of the pastor that was there before.
I did this to Ewart when I took over my first youth position, my first paid position. I was not wise enough to know how to transition power.
I have been on the receiving end of this when a new pastor took over a church plant. He was not secure enough to see the wisdom of the work the people put in to build a six million dollar facility starting with only a handful of people.
I have watched others chaff and struggle as new pastors came into a position of power, fighting and clawing at those who they felt threatened by.
It really is no different with the Pharaoh. In scripture it says that he did not recognize Joseph. Does that mean he did not know Joseph?
No this Pharaoh knew him and the people and their story.
What this Pharaoh was not going to do is recognize Joseph. He wouldn’t allow any group of people he did not control remain in power. If he did, he risked them challenging him later on in his reign.
I’m not implying that pastors think this way…(but there is a truth of human element in this)
Church Leadership Insight: Bull In A China Shop
No new pastor wants to do things the way they’ve always been done. Or to sit and listen to a group of people remind him or her how so and so never did it that way. It is impossible to live as someone else.
The problem comes when we respond and react to those comments and begin a campaign to either remove people we feel threatened by from power, or to not recognize them at all.
I watched pastors act like the Pharaoh in these situations. Literary lambasting the pastor who was before them, denying all history of the church, and recognizing the great things it had done in the community.
On the other hand I watched Jim Garlow, pastor of Skyline do just the opposite. I watched this man celebrate the lives of all three pastors who have served that great church. Himself, John Maxwell, and Dr. Orval Butcher.
It is awesome to see all three on stage celebrating what God did at that remarkable church.
You see the question becomes…how did you take the reins of the church you serve. How did you assume power?
As a Pharaoh who is unwilling to recognize what has taken place before you got there.
Or as someone who is thankful for those who came before you and willing to carry on the traditions of those who came before you.
We can all carry on the work of God, be ourselves, and leave our own mark. All the while celebrating the work and sacrifice that has come before us.
 Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Ex 1:8–10). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.