Unintentional Leaders

Victor Folkert

READ : Judges 8:22-35

There are many like Gideon in the church today: leaders who don’t want to be leaders, won’t take the responsibilities of leadership, and end up leading others astray. Some of them are never elected to any office, yet people follow them. Others refuse to acknowledge their influence over others.

Perhaps Gideon was right in refusing to establish a royal dynasty in Israel; later, Samuel made the same argument against having a king (v. 23). But Gideon did rule for 40 years! He took a harem as a king might, and carried on like the important man he was.

What Gideon did not want was the responsibility of leading people in a right relationship with God. His own relationship with God was independent and self-centered. That was why he made an ephod, a priestly vest most likely used for divination. (Was Gideon’s weakness that he was always looking for a sign?)

But Gideon could not avoid being a leader, for good or evil. His private ephod became a snare to his family, and upon his death the people of Israel returned to Baal worship. His failure to take his role seriously destroyed many.

Are you a reluctant leader? It would be better to take that role seriously than to try to run from it. Your own spiritual integrity will influence others one way or the other, no matter how you try to avoid it.


Lord, help me see whom I influence, and how. Help me be a good influence. Through Christ. Amen.