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What Is The Greatest Gift a Leader Can Give to Their People?

Filed under: Leadership — Pastor David Nov 1, 2013 @ 10:15 am

“We build more quickly in wood, hay, and stubble than we do in gold, silver, and precious stone.”   - Amy Carmichael

Which is greater? To give, or to receive? The clear answer is that to give… is greater than to receive. “Without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater” (Heb. 7:7). Who is greater? The one served or the one serving? Jesus said, “The one being served is greater, but I am among you as the one who serves” (Luke 22:27). Jesus said that even though the one being served is greater He choose to serve because serving others is a greater use of one’s life.

So what is the greatest thing a leader can give to his or her people? It seems clear that the leader must be able to bless their people with a life that is blessed by God, that is, to live a life that is an example of what God can and will bless.  This life will be a life of service to the people! After all, what is it we long to hear from our heavenly Master? “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21, 23).

So, let’s break it down into two parts…

One; that we give our people a life that is blessed by God.  What does this mean? It means that Grace is abundantly evident in our lives. This great reality reminds us that God’s love and favor pour out on us, and then… through us! This life of overflowing love spills out on all those who are around us. As Apostle Paul stated, “The love of God has been poured out within our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom 5:5). We give to our people a life of divine love… we love them and we care for them.

Two; that we give our people a life of service. What does this mean? It means that we help them to know and serve the Lord even as we know and serve the Lord. We educate and equip them with all the tools we have been given by others so that they can serve the Lord to the best of their ability. We are multiplying our life into their lives, one by one… and over and over. This is a daily calling to those we serve!

What can happen to leaders is that we may get tired of loving and serving people. People can be a huge disappointment and often appear to be a wasted effort. Paul worried that the Thessalonian followers might have been tempted by the Tempter and that as a result of this, his labor would be in vain.  ie: a huge waste of time and effort! (see 1 Thess 3) No leader called by God wants to waste his time and efforts. Our time and energy are precious gifts that we freely give to fulfill this calling we have as leaders.   We must also love the people as we serve them. Otherwise we can fail them and become protective of our time and energy, cynical, and even question if anyone will ever become a trained and effective leader. We may complain, “They just don’t not make them like they used to.” We become unwilling to spend time “on them”, or “with them”. We refuse to waste our energy training them and showing them how to serve the Lord.

To guard against this risk of wasted time and effort, we must be careful who we select to train, and who we end up pouring so much of our love and energy into. This selection process is so important that Jesus spent the whole night in prayer before choosing the twelve He would train. Have we done this preliminary work of prayer (and even fasting) before investing hours and hours, even weeks and weeks into someone?  Paul tells us that we should look for “faithful men who will teach others” (2 Tim. 2:2). Your careful attention to this is all important! No one but the leader can train up the next set of leaders. John Maxwell noted, “Those closest to the leader will determine his level of success.”  Who will you invest in and bring close to you? This is a whole study in itself. Simply put, we look for people who are willing to be a team player, work with us and others to accomplish something greater than themselves. We look for someone willing to change whatever God asks us to change in order to make His dreams become a reality. We look for obedient followers of Christ, for they are the ones we can trust and develop. We train them to be strong and full of the motivating power of faith, hope, and love. This is grace based leadership training.

What is the greatest gift I can give to my people? A life that can be duplicated and a life that is being duplicated. See that? Can it be multiplied and is it being multiplied? This is the combination of the greatest gift a leader can give to those he serves!

Here is a great question: Is what I am doing, feeling or thinking, something that can or should be multiplied over and over? If it were to be duplicated, would it make the church or organization stronger and better or would it make weaker and more ineffective?

List out the things that you desire to be in your church or organization. Prayer life, discipline, compassion, unselfishness, sacrificial attitude and habits, focus and visionary efforts, sharing my faith, etc. is that what you practice every day? What will daily practicing of these choices do to your church or organization? Would these practices create more of a contrast to choices of complaining, criticizing, ignoring others, refusing to help or give a listening ear, holding back wise counsel, etc.?

If you want a successful ministry it is made up of years of loving service. Years are made up of months and months are made up of weeks and weeks are made up of days that consistently show this love and service. Get the idea?

What are you doing today that will result in a lifetime of great leadership? Today is where and when it all starts. Today is the all-important “right now” for you and your work. What are you doing today to promote your greatest gift to your people? A life of loving service…

Father, thank You for calling and enriching us in so many ways. May we be like You, full of love, and eager to serve those we have been entrusted with by You. We are working for the day when we see You and bow before You in grateful worship. We long to hear Your words that we did our job well and that we were faithful to You. May we multiply our lives over and over to the last breath.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

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