This week will be the official transition of power to our 45th President of the United States.

There has been a great deal of discussion over the last year, during the campaign, the election, and now the transition as to the good and the bad that will come based on the new commander in chief. But there is one thing I know for sure:

God is sovereign and remains in control!

This article has nothing to do with red or blue. It is also not about left or right. It’s about how we should lead and how we should pray.

If given the opportunity to provide a letter to our new President, this would be my advice to him.


Letter to the President

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations for being elected as the leader of the United States. What an amazing accomplishment!

I know there is both a great deal of excitement, anticipation, and enthusiasm as well as consternation and concern over your election. Therefore, I thought I might provide some thoughts for you to consider as you take on this significant leadership role. I, along with all Americans, truly want you to be successful. All good things emulate from effective leadership and that responsibility rests on your shoulders during the next 4 years.

Positional authority does not necessarily lead to influence. The best way to lead is to be a leader of moral authority and high character and when you do so, you will gain the trust and respect of the American people. Here are some ways that you can be a leader we want to follow:


  • Be a leader that maintains a focus on those you are serving. Be present and approachable, always listening to the American people. If you do this, we will be behind you all the way!


  • Be consistent and always align your actions with your words. For us to trust you, it is imperative that we see you walking your talk. When we see alignment between the values of our nation, your words, and your actions, we will be behind you all the way!


  • Be committed to doing what is right in God’s eyes, not necessarily what is popular in our world. We need a courageous leader who runs all decisions through our nation’s purpose and values, and won’t deviate for personal gain, or ease of a way forward. If we see you always striving to do the “right” thing, we will be behind you all the way!


  • Be a man of personal sacrifice. As Americans we most closely identify with leaders that are enduring some of the same things we are. We like leaders who are willing to sacrifice for the greater good of those they are serving. If we see you sacrificing on our behalf, we will be behind you all the way!


A couple of experts on moral authority and high character leadership would be Nehemiah and Jesus. I would encourage you to read about Nehemiah and his leadership in rebuilding a country, as well as Jesus and His leadership in building a following. I think studying both of these leaders could be extremely helpful to you as you begin your Presidency.

I have a few more things I want to share with you, but I don’t want to overwhelm you in this first letter. I would respectfully ask you to digest this information and reflect what you might learn from Nehemiah and Jesus’ examples as you get started. I will drop you a second note on key aspects of your leadership next week.

In great respect,

Mark Deterding


Your Reflections


As you read this letter, I hope you see that this advice is applicable for all leaders, not just our new President of the United States. Where can you improve your moral authority and personal character? With your spouse, your children, the people within your sphere of influence? I encourage you to consciously make an effort to do so today.


I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 1 Timothy 2:1-2