Maybe you can remember a specific time that God called you to full time ministry, or maybe you find yourself leading a ministry you didn’t ask to lead. It can be both overwhelming and exhausting, but with a few observations from Jesus’ ministry to others, everyone can grow in their leadership style to create a ministry of vision, compassion, and energy!
This month, we will see that Good Leaders:
- Include others in the work.
- Love the ugly.
- Pray with purpose.
- Spend time alone.
Let’s dive right in today with looking at the discipline of including others in our ministry. Read with me Luke 6:12-15:
“In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot,”
Jesus was in the beginning of his ministry. His days ahead would be marked with overwhelming crowds, needs, and situations; needs and situations that would leave anyone tired and drained, even the Son of God.
Jesus was intentional about calling others to help with his work load. After consulting with the Father, we see in verse 13 Jesus calling together all those that had been following Him up until this point. Jesus chose only 12 that He would directly pour into and share in ministry with.
In a previous ministry, our church had a MOPS program that was struggling. The leadership team consisted of two women who were tired, drained, and frustrated. Creativity was lacking, energy was gone, and the very excitement that was necessary to attract moms and their “littles” was missing. It was limping along.
Because MOPS had so much potential and was such a great encouragement to me, I decided to step in and encourage those women and see what I could offer. Within a few months, I found myself making decisions, organizing guest speakers, finding gifted women to decorate, recruiting and training energetic MOPPETS workers and baking the breakfast items we enjoyed each meeting. While I was thankful the Lord was blessing my efforts, I quickly realized this could get dangerous. I had a choice.
I could either continue doing the tasks each meeting, or I could train others(while I still had overflowing excitement) to step in and serve with me.
I chose to build into others. I put on my “scouting” glasses and came to every meeting with watchful eyes. The Lord was growing MOPS and it would soon be too big for me. So, while women were standing around the breakfast line, I listened to conversations. I took note of what things the women enjoyed. I watched who cleaned off the tables when no one was around. I delegated some of the spotlight roles to see if others were comfortable leading. I presented opportunities to serve and jotted down names of volunteers. Basically, I looked for my replacement.
In a sense, Jesus looked for His replacement. While we may never live up to His perfect leadership style, we are called to serve and lead others well…just like He did. Sometimes pouring into others and passing the baton is tiring and we can find ourselves thinking, “It would just be easier if I did it myself.” Unless we pass that baton though and pull others into ministry alongside us, we are not advancing His eternal purpose.
In order to lead well, it is vital that we include others in the ministry work. If you want to see others excited about God’s work, stoked about seeing His hand move, then include them with purpose. Lead well by allowing others to step up and explore their God given talents and roles. Ministry will come alive and so will you!