O’ Leader, Where Art Thou?

You want to go to a great leadership seminar but don’t have the money? Well, I can’t float you a loan, but I can give you some advice in a few short minutes that saves you from three days of training. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not being an arrogant know-it-all. This advice comes from scripture and from training I have received over the decades in sales and church ministry training.

The first thing
If you are having success in a certain ministry, does it make you feel good to be recognized? Really, who doesn’t appreciate recognition for a job well done? Putting hours on end into service, and then dealing with those difficult “children of the Lord,” ought to be rewarded with at  recognition if nothing else, right?
Paul had to write the Corinthian church, reminding them they were still “carnal” because of the report he received that the church was dividing itself by boasting about which “big time evangelist” baptized them.

…”one of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas’, still another, ‘I follow Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?”…For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel-not with human words of wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be EMPTIED of it’s power.” 1 Cor. 1:12-13, 17 (read the whole passage 10-17)

Die to applause, don’t worry about who gets credit. You are only leading by God’s grace in Christ. Needing praise for your “ministry” is “you centered” and will cause a power outage in your spirituality. “But it is my ministry, what God gave me to do.” you say. Really?

“All of me, none of God. Some of me, some of God. None of me, all of God.” anon.

The number two reason
Leader: Here is what we are going to do.
Helpers: I don’t know about that.
Leader: This is not subject to discussion.
Helpers: That’s messed up…that won’t work, I think I’ll find another church to attend.

Why have leaders that have no part in the ministry? Here’s why. You need them to lead the groups to follow YOUR agenda…WRONG. If you are here, return to Go, directly to go and do not collect $200. (monopoly players get that) It is not about you. If you think it is, resign immediately and get to celebrate recovery for your megotistic approach.

“For waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.” Prov.24:6
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Prov.27:17

Please hear what I’m trying to say. Give your ministry a real nice burial. Take what God has given you in talent as a seed to plant in others. The idea is to multiply your talent, magnify Christ, glorify God, and the Holy Spirit will lead people to what God is doing in your group. You plant, another waters…and God gives the increase. Paradoxically, you give praise away, God increases you.

We give nothing that God does not honor, when we give it to, or in honor of Him.

I hope you give these two reasons some thought. There are others, perhaps for another time.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

Keeping What’s Mine

Great people know a secret that hides from mediocrity. Great people are confident in their God-given talents and abilities, and seem to have no fear of the success of those around them. Great people DELEGATE their authority and prominence to others. They do not care who gets the credit as long as the job gets done or the hurting receives help. This is a secret hidden, not because in itself it hides, rather because the mediocre doesn’t seek its worth.
The mediocre insists on center stage, insisting that their control of every situation is necessary to maintain order or in their thinking, if I don’t do it, it will not get done!  As a result, less is achieved, God is not credited, a few may receive help…and the mediocre is praised, the real goal of the mediocre.
Let me try to make sense here. I have often been placed in charge of a project and it may be huge in scope of who the project may affect. There are many involved to help, but if I involve them, they may end up with all of the credit for my project. Well I won’t let that happen. I will do it all, suffer sleeplessness, do a halfway job, and ignore great ideas because it is mine, all mine!  I forgot one thing, God promotes.
Look at the exact opposite approach. I am placed in charge of this project, fully aware of the talent around me. I wonder why, in humility, why I’m in charge with others with more qualified or talented. But I immediately seek advice, and delegate duties to the talent around me. The result will ALWAYS be, a successful event, especially if I have given the credit where it is due. If I intentionally place myself in second position, God will be pleased, He can promote me…rightly.
Why is this important? In the family, the husband or wife want to have the credit for the union’s success. The manager wants credit for the underling’s hard work, the pastor want to be acknowledged for the church’s growth, and you could name other similar situations you know of personally, I’m sure. I have noticed this in churches over the years, and it is truly sad. Many talented people come and go through the church doors, unable to use the abilities God gave them because it may infringe on the pastor’s glory. Or they may be self-promoting, seeking accolades and praise…neither will do.
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted”…Luke 14:11
Become great. Determine to surrender your talents and abilities to promote others. Do not intimidate or proclaim your worth, that’s noisy and clamorous. If you are a leader, tell those above you how good your crew is, or talk about your spouse’s strength in keeping the marriage strong. Teach your children to hold in high esteem their siblings good qualities. If you are a pastor, or a leader in your church, lean heavily on the people in your charge…listen to their ideas. Bury, put to death the small seed of your self-awareness and self-promotion, and God will cause it to grow into a mighty tree for all types of life to feed from. Delegate and appreciate, plant, water…the increase will come.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith