Society & Politics

Article Series: Leadership Lessons from the Life of Moses


Preston Manning, Senior Fellow

The mission of the Marketplace Institute at Regent College is to help Christians connect the gospel of Christ with every aspect of life: culture, science, media, business, and, yes, politics.

As citizens of the Kingdom of God but also citizens of our country and the world, we are affected by domestic and international politics in a myriad of ways. Politics affects our freedoms and responsibilities, who governs us and how, the type of education our children receive, our incomes and employment opportunities, our taxes and what they are used for, the quality of our environment, our health and old age security, our collective response to the needs of the poor and oppressed, the safety of our streets, and whether we live in a time of war or a time of peace.

At the Marketplace Institute, we believe that Jesus’ call is for his followers to be salt and light, to be ambassadors for Him, to carry out the ministry of reconciliation, and to communicate the truth of the gospel to every nation. This is a call to relate the truth and person of Christ to every sphere of life, including the political.

One way of doing so is to study the lives and experience of God’s servants in the past who have been called to involvement in the politics of their day. Such studies are particularly relevant when they are conducted through the eyes and interpreted through the experiences of contemporary Christians who have been involved in the politics of our day.

Hence, this series of articles, which is entitled “Faith and Politics in the Life of Moses” and authored by Preston Manning, a practising Christian, Senior Fellow of the Marketplace Institute, founder of two Canadian federal political parties, and former Leader of the Official Opposition in the Canadian House of Commons.

From a secular standpoint, Moses—one of the best-known religious and political leaders in history—encountered virtually every trial and circumstance that a modern political leader faces: fierce opposition from external opponents; the burden of overwork and the need to delegate; the challenges of executive decision making, administration, and law making; threats to his leadership from his closest associates (arguably the most trying form of opposition a political leader faces); continuous criticism and complaining from his followers; shortages of resources; the charge that he had broken his promises; outright rebellion against his leadership; the roller coaster ride between great accomplishments and profound disappointments; the strains that political leadership puts on family life; and the problem of succession.

At the same time, Moses was a political leader whose intimate relationship with Jehovah involved the following: providential positioning; a sense of divine calling; numerous experiences with the miraculous; a constant effort to discern Jehovah’s will with respect to governance; the communication and enforcement of God-inspired laws and standards; lawmaking, particularly in relation to morality, mediation, and intercession; encounters with evil in all its forms; the challenge of maintaining the spirit of the laws in competition with their material and ceremonial embodiments; and the reception and interpretation of revelations of the character of God which profoundly affected his political and spiritual leadership.

There is, therefore, much for contemporary Christians with political interests and ambitions to learn from the life of Moses, especially as interpreted by a contemporary Christian with significant political experience.

Part 1: The Call to Involvement

Part 2: At Work with God

Part 3: The Rule of Law

Part 4: The Role of the Leader

Part 5: The Challenges of Leadership

Part 6: Last Words

Preston Manning works with the MI on the development and communication of faith-informed approaches to political leadership and public policy, including new approaches to the intersection of faith with democratic governance, the market economy, pluralism and multiculturalism, science and technology, and environmental stewardship.

Preston served as a member of the Canadian House of Commons from 1993 to 2001, part of which he served as his party’s critic for Science, Technology and Innovation. He founded two new political parties—the Reform Party of Canada and the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance—and was the Leader of the Official Opposition from 1997 to 2000. Preston also has 20 years of experience as an owner and manager of a consulting firm specializing mainly in strategic planning and communications advice to the energy sector. In 2005, he founded the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, which supports research, educational, and communications initiatives designed to achieve a more democratic society in Canada guided by conservative principles.

Source: Marketplace Institute

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