WISE INTENTIONAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Volume 13, Number 11– NOVEMBER, 2019
Greeting. Please enjoy the following thoughts on articles begun last month. Our time with African Coordinator Henry Mukonda and his wife, Catherine, was quality. We were able to make many contacts and accomplish several projects WILD has been wanting to do. They are now home safe again in Zambia. Thanks for praying. Mike
PASSING THE BATON Part 2
We all have something we can offer to others. Equipping and developing others is not a suggestion from the Lord. It is a major portion of our job description as ministry (spiritual) leaders. If any of us are not intentionally pursuing or willing to develop another Christian, we are dropping the baton. Top level 4 x 100 meter relay teams spend hours preparing themselves to properly hand off the baton. The race is won or lost right there.
Is this the attitude you have, “I do not need anyone or any help in ministry?” Or, “If I train and develop another person, he or she may take my job or leave me after they are trained!” Now if you do not need anyone or any help, you must be bigger than life itself or your vision or work for the Lord is not very big or God-sized. Every ministry situation I have ever been involved in was not done in a vacuum but where people were needed to be included to succeed.
During my early years in ministry, I needed the wisdom and insight of many Christians who “went before me”. I may have had some knowledge of what was needed at that moment but was so short on wisdom. Godly men and women guided me as they ran along with me and graciously handed the baton over to me. We did ministry together and saved me from a multitude of errors.
Even for me today, I need continued wisdom and insight from those who have experienced ministry I have not experienced yet. These brothers and sisters make my ministry opportunities much better and honoring to the Lord.
More than once I have been told that if the person speaking to me would mentor and train another person, the new person will eventually take one’s job away. I realize that in many parts of the world, to have a paying job is a major blessing but we are working with God here and He is in control, plus we are instructed in Scripture to equip and empower others to do the work of the ministry. Can we trust God enough that if we are doing what He is instructing us to do, that He can take care of our situation?
For the reasoning that if I train someone, that person may then leave me and go do ministry work for someone else or strike it out on their own, that is legitimate. People have been trained and developed, and then leave (to in the business world), become the trainer’s competition. It does cost money and especially time to train and develop. Then to have someone well trained leave, that is a hit and often can hurt emotionally and/or financially.
That is a danger in training and development, especially if you train and develop well. Jesus never intended to train the apostles to retain them and have their own happy little church gathering. The truth of the matter was one of the twelve, Judas, turned on Jesus. In order to accomplish the responsibility that God gave Paul, he trained and developed many to help expand the early Church. At times, he wished he had some of those trainees back with him.
Realize too that when Barnabas mentored and discipled Paul, it was not to hold on to him. Add the fact that eventually when they were a team, Paul became the lead over Barnabas. If your heart is not right with Jesus, when one of your trainees become more popular or “important” than you, you will feel envious, jealous, angry, discouraged or upset with Jesus because you are not getting the accolades you feel you should!
Are we going to pout or run the race our Coach has appointed for us with a focus of excellence and determination to glorify Him? As we run our race we will have many opportunities to run along side other and help develop them. When it is time to pass on the baton that unites and then propels our mentee on, will it be dropped, or will we run over the top of them because we have not helped prepare them for their leg of the race? For the great majority of time, people remember how we finish our race more so than how we start.
YOUTH MINISTRY – DEVELOPING POISE Part 2
Last month we had a discussion on poise, to be in control of yourself. You have balance and you are ready to do whatever comes into your life, to meet difficult situations that enter your life. The beginning step for a Christian to develop poise is to have a vibrant relationship with Jesus, just as Jesus had with His Father. That way Jesus knew what to do when faced with situations because He would do whatever the Father was leading Him to do.
Another key aspect of developing poise in your life is to not be overloaded with life’s stresses, problems and conflicts. You can easily burn out and get involved in activities that are not healthy lifestyles. When does your day begin? Most will say when you wake up. Really it is when you go to bed so you wake up refreshed and not fatigued because if you are fatigued, the day drags. As Wayne Corderio has said, “We will all experience fatigue in the midst of a demanding life unless time is set aside to rest and realign ourselves. Balance is enjoying life, enjoying work (school), spending time with family and friends, keeping healthy, playing, maintaining spirituality, and giving back.”
How do you normally end your day? Are you on your phone to the moment you fall asleep? If so, attempt this. As you are preparing to go to sleep, put your phone away 30 minutes before bed and also do not have the phone at your bedside. We all need time away from the electronic components we have access to.
If you are getting less than 7 hours per night, what do you need to do to reduce something(s) in your life so you receive a healthy night’s sleep? When you have less sleep, we are more irritable and struggle quickly with anger. What makes you get angry, leading to a short fuse? Often it is because our lives are out of balance; we have fatigue or dealing with big or multiple conflicts or problems. Too many commitments or expectations and not enough time, energy, emotional and physical strength or thriving growth in our faith can cause our lives to be out of balance and missing poise.
If we do not consistently slow down and relax which we regularly need (God resting on the seventh day was not something that accidently occurred – it was planned), if we regularly are fatigued or dealing with conflict and problems, we will suffer the consequences. Addictions, broken relationships, poor grades or job performances and a hollowness in our relationship with Jesus can likely occur. Self-control leaves and life is out of control.
To be the best person you can be, you need balance in your life. What change should you make to be clearly focused in with Jesus and then your family? Is it less time with electronic devices, less time with friends and more with Jesus and family? Or is it asking a teacher or family member to help you develop better study habits? Are you fighting an addiction and feel hopelessly caught up in it? Find an adult who can help you. Or is it starting a short daily time reading the Bible and praying to get you focused? Whatever it is, don’t put it off; do what you need to now.