growth barriersBreaking barriers to growth

Our capacity for leadership determines the scope of our work. However, as we have already seen, each one of us must develop our own leadership. Each one of us must grow and advance in the midst of all barriers, resistance and impediments.

Jesus shows us various barriers in the parable of the sower in Chapter 13 of Matthew where he compares the development of the seed of the Word of the kingdom in each of four different types of soil which represent four types of human hearts.

Through this parable we learn that:

  • Plants do not grow in the shade. Good discipleship leaders expose their disciples to the sun.
  • Plants do not grow if the vase is too small. We need space for our roots.
  • Plants cannot grow in hard soil. Hard soil corresponds to the wayside that is constantly trampled upon. There is no growth without taking the risk of following alternative and new ideas.
  • Plants do not grow in stony ground. The stones point to the ego and to sin.
  • Plants do not grow in containers covered with lids. The lids are natural and emotional blocks.

The effectiveness of our leadership depends on eliminating lids that are placed upon us. The leadership of David and Saul gives us two examples of leaders who dealt with lids in different ways.

Both were anointed by God

The same anointing that was over Saul was also over David. There was no difference at all. The anointing was the same, but each of them responded differently.

Both received the help of an experienced prophet

Both Saul and David had instruction and teaching. Samuel instructed Saul and Nathan instructed David.

Both faced great challenges

God tests our leadership through the challenges and obstacles along the way. Goliath challenged Saul just as much as he challenged David, but only David responded to overcome the enemy.

Both had the chance to change and to grow

Saul and David had different attitudes in the face of their circumstances. After Samuel reprimanded Saul, Saul merely tried to justify himself. David, on the other hand, repented bitterly after Nathan rebuked him.

The lids that limited King Saul

  • Fear: he hid in the camp afraid to face Goliath.
  • Concern with the opinion of others: he asked Samuel to honor him even after he had sinned (1 Samuel 13:8-12; 15:19-25).
  • Presumption; he did not wait for Samuel and offered a sacrifice that he wasn’t qualified to offer (1 Samuel 13:11, 12).
  • Impulsiveness: he made a rash oath that almost cost the life of his son.
  • Falsehood: he offered his daughter to David, but his desire was for David to die in battle.
  • Jealousy and envy: he became angry when the people unfavorably compared him to David.
  • Wrath: he tried to kill David two times

The lids in the life of David

  • His family: he was the youngest and least remembered when Samuel came to visit.
  • His social status: Saul was from a rich family (1 Samuel 9:1), but David was from a poor family.
  • His leader: Saul constantly tried to inhibit David’s leadership.
  • His youth and inexperience: David was just a kid when Samuel anointed him as king of Israel.

The leader must grow so that his cell can grow. The leader can only grow if he makes himself available to remove the lids that block his development.