I’ve worked in an office environment and I have watched big egos in action. In the executive world it’s all about promotions, titles, and big paychecks. After witnessing this whirl of self importance, I’ll just remain a peon thank you.
What’s really sad though is when this attitude enters into the church. The body of Christ is no place for big egos and focus on self. After all Jesus Himself was worlds apart from this attitude. In Philippians 2 it says this about the attitude of Jesus:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!”
I’ve been in a leadership position for 10 years or more in our church body and I’ve learned some invaluable lessons along the way. I’ve been pondering on these things and I want to share it with you.
*Our focus should not be on gaining people’s approval. Think you are all that and a bag of chips? Well you’re not! Read your own press sometime and you’ll find that bubble burst. If I go down the road of seeking people’s approval, it will certainly lead to a despairing end. Yea it feels good to be applauded, but it’s also a dangerous tool of the enemy. Beware of this temptation. To be quite honest, it’s easier to deal with rejection than the praises of people.
*Let God be your promoter, don’t promote yourself. I wrote in a earlier blog that spiritual promotion is far different than worldly promotion. It takes you deeper than you ever been. It pulls you closer to the Father’s heart. It tenderizes your heart. Your spiritual perception is clearer. Your spiritual appetite is more acute.
God is all about character. I’ve known people who were placed in leadership positions who were seriously lacking in character. I’ve seen the debris field as a result of damage done. Let God do His deep work in your life and let Him promote you.
*Placing our agenda above everyone else’s. It’s not your ministry, but God’s ministry through a willing vessel. You are the turtle on a fence post. The turtle didn’t get there on it’s own, somebody had to place it there.
He has entrusted others to you. It’s all about loving and feeding the body of Christ, not about you.
*Our focus should be God’s presence in our lives, seeking His face, His heart. I love Moses prayer in Exodus 33, “Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"
This is what leadership should be about. The Lord wants to take us like a fresh loaf of bread, and break us to feed the people He’s placed in our lives.
Its awesome to be considered a leader, but it’s also very sobering. Even a bit scary sometimes. It shouldn’t be taken lightly, because lives are at stake. As long as our focus is on Jesus, we’ll be that fresh bread.
I’m confident that you can be the leader He’s made you to be. After all, He’s been working on you for a long time now. His fingerprints are all over you. When He promotes you, you will be ready to be the vessel He’s formed you to be.
Rest in His hands, trust Him to do the work. You will be amazed.