Leadership begins with no invitation. An invitation may come later, once you prove yourself interested, dedicated, and able.
Joshua went where Moses went, invited or not. He was in the tent of meeting praying with Moses, he was up on the mountain when Moses received the Ten Commandments. He followed, dug into the work, picked up responsibilities, and supported the work of Moses.
Dig in and do something, do anything, don’t ask, “What should I do?” I don’t give responsibility to people who have to be told what to do, I mobilize people who can see what needs to be done. In any group, there are people who become part of the leader’s job and others who become part of the solution. So ask questions that don’t add to the burden, but to the solution.
Step one is to do whatever your hand finds to do and do it with all of your might. This reveals your motives and potential to those who are watching you – they see a person with a view to accomplish, rather than to make money or be promoted.
The next thing they are watching for is consistent behaviour in the twin arenas of ‘under supervision’ and ‘no one is looking’. The latter had better be a perfect shadow of the first, otherwise you are an actor. I intentionally do a better job when no one is looking, firstly to prove integrity to myself (giving me full confidence), and secondly so I can demand this level of integrity from others.
The first girl I trained as a ministry administrator was not an obvious pick but I soon noticed that when I was absent she would deal with every situation by asking herself, “What would Boss Al do?” As missionaries, Terry and I would be out of the country for months at a time and even though we had interim missionaries take our place, we trusted the finances and operation of the ministry to our young Thai administrator – her work was a shadow of mine.
Moses began his ministry by defending a random Israelite when he thought no one was watching. This leadership came out of his heart. Joshua became Moses’ second and leadership was a motivation of his heart, not a goal to personal success. You have to know the reason, “Why do I want to lead?”
Nobody believes you are called to be a leader, and they won’t believe you until you can show them by your works and tell them in one passionate statement.