Speaking at the Town Mayor’s Civic Service her Chaplain Fr Mark Soady reflects on the Biblical definition of Leadership, as the Country comes terms with various stories of abuse of power.
“It was the father in law of Moses, one of the greatest Old Testament leaders, who had to warn him to delegate. As we heard in today’s lesson from Exodus (18) Jethro was horrified to see Moses working from dawn to dusk adjudicating on hundreds of petty disputes. Jethro points out it was neither good for Moses who grew tired or for those waiting for judgements as they grew impatient.
It is often forgotten that our councillors, especially at Town Council, have an occupation which demands their time and energy
in addition to these council duties. This is true of our new Mayor, who also has to find time to be a mother. So to Sam I say, yes fulfill your duties, but do delegate what you can-if for no other reason than because you have a very experienced Deputy Mayor to whom you can delegate.
Our local government structure is one of delegation of course. I don’t know if the drafters of the 1974 and 1992(is it) Local Government Act had read today’s passage from Exodus, but Moses took his father in laws advice and developed a leadership structure based on groups of 100s and 1000s.So as a Council do only what you are called to do and leave the others bits of government to our County Councillors, AMs ,MPs and peers.
When God created women he did so that we would not be alone, the second time it was said that it would not be ‘good for a man to be alone’ is here when Jethro said to Moses it was not good for him to be alone in this leadership role. While the Mayor is the figured head, the whole Town Council is in it together. Political affiliations apart, you need to support each other in your work, affirm each other in your work so that you and the Town Council may grow, and this Town of Abergavenny continue to improve.
Today’s Gospel shows us how Jesus,the greatest Leader of all time fulfilled his role as Leader. The very first thing he did on coming out of the wilderness to start his public ministry was to appoint fellow leaders-people who could share his ministry with him, and carry it forward here on earth after his death, resurrection and ascension.
The most important lesson that Jesus taught us about Leadership, however, was the model of Servant Leadership. About being a Leader not for ones own gain, but to serve others,many of the recent scandals about the abuse power have been about Leaders using their position to their benefit not the greater benefit.It is good always to hold our Lord and Saviour before us as our model and example of a good leader.
The Bible teaches that good leadership is part of God provision for us.We are called to respect and pray for our Leaders, that is what we are here today to do as a new term of of office for Abergavenny Town Council begins and as Samanatha’s term of office gets under way.
May God bless our Mayor, our Council and our Town”