“And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
with skillful hands he led them.”

Psalm 78:72 NIV

How many more leaders have to fall? How many more times will we read of a man or woman with great potential who seems to make it to the top of their profession only to find out they have a fatal flaw? Whether it is insider trading on Wall Street, lying by the local mechanic to keep customers, or a moral failure in a pastor, someone always looses.

This verse describes the two tracks of the train of godly leadership, character and skill. King David led Israel with both. Too many times we have leaders who rise to the top because of their great competency, only to find out they lacked character.

David is said to have led with “integrity of heart.” The word “integrity” comes from the same root word as the math term integer. An integer is a whole number; “integrity of heart” speaks to an undivided heart for God, wholehearted. David had a passion for God that was unequaled in his day; in fact, the Bible describes him as a “man after God’s own heart.” David struggled for and failed but he maintained his integrity because he repented and sought God’s favor. (Read Psalms 32 and 51)

King David demonstrated his skill on the battlefield, building a kingdom and even assuring his successor. Which is more important skill or character? The Bible always leans on character first. Character is foundational to the godly leader. We all know that skills can be learned, but it is very difficult to teach character. Having said that, I believe the kind of leadership that makes a difference will comprise skill and character.

QUESTION: List five characteristics of Jesus Christ that made people want to follow Him? Who are some model leaders you know in your church? What makes them stand out as leaders? List five skills you need to develop to become a better leader? What character issues may need strengthening?