April 30, 2019 by Tom Deighan
I recently shared about the growing organization of the Association of Christian Administrators – a group of men and women who have joined together as professionals who share faith in Christ. It reminds me of one of the first devotionals I wrote way back in 2013 about how isolating leadership can be. Whether you are a school leader or simply in leadership, I think you can relate to the calling of leadership.
I have never heard the story of Laish shared from the pulpit, nor have I ever read any commentary regarding the tragic fall of the city. Nevertheless, the sad story of Laish haunts me because Judges 18:27 describes Laish as “quiet and secure.” They minded their own business and lived their lives just as most of us do. The Tribe of Dan, on the other hand, felt displaced and disinherited (v 18:1), so they attacked Laish, destroying it and all its inhabitants. And even though Laish did nothing wrong, no one supported Laish in its time of need. The reason is in verse twenty-eight:
There was no deliverer . . . because they had no ties with anyone. (NKJV)
You see, Laish was an easy target. Although a strong people (Laish means lion in Hebrew), Laish was isolated and had no network of support. The Danites, for whatever reason, seized their opportunity and “the lions” were completely destroyed.
Most of us have experienced the isolation inherent in our professions, and most of us have experienced a tribe of Danites at one time or another. We are easy targets because we are often the only people in our positions in our communities. Even more difficult, we are bound by ethics which others are not, and we cannot respond in kind – or even respond at all.
We can, however, make sure that we are not alone. I am thankful for CCOSA, OROS, NW School Officials, USSA and other organizations which provide professional support for all of us. I rely heavily on my time with other school leaders for support, encouragement, and knowledge. At times, however, our fellow school leaders need more than just professional support. This Bible study is an effort to start building that network.
As we hear of other school leaders struggling with the challenges of this job or being attacked by the tribe of Dan, let’s reach out to them. A text, an email, or a phone call letting them know they are not alone can be all it takes to get through it. A neighboring superintendent called me recently to do just that, and it made all the difference! And as we hear of fellow school leaders facing personal or professional struggles, we can also discretely bring those needs forth as prayer requests to each other.
Don’t let your fellow lions be attacked without a deliverer! And remember what Proverbs 12:25 says: Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. (NIV)
I may have written this 6 years ago, but I suspect men and women are struggling as much today as they were then. If you do not have an outlet such as An Association of Christian Administrators or something similar, please consider just reaching out to someone and letting them know you are praying for them. Leadership can be lonely, but that does not mean anyone should face it alone.
Please share with another educator who may need encouragement. Visit www.tomdeighan.com to sign up for the devotional. Copyright Tom Deighan