I recall a time early on in our marriage when my hubs and I were having a heated discussion. We couldn’t agree on the best parenting approach with our young kiddos. Let me paint the picture…Kids are screaming. You’re exhausted. Bad cop wants to do one thing. Good cop has a different idea. It was at one of these moments my hubs reminded me, “Hey, we’re on the same team!”
Of course, we are! We aim to raise responsible, respectful, God-fearing, Jesus loving adults out of these little ones. But wow–it is difficult to stay on course and be like-minded.
The same is true within the church. We have all been given the same mission. The Great Commission tells us to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19). However, when it gets down to the nuts & bolts of how to implement our mission, things can get messy. We can get jealous, prideful, stubborn, ugly, left-out, ignored, or slighted.
Read 2 Cor. 8:16-24. Paul was all about mentoring those around him. Like Paul, we all are called to raise up future leaders, mothers, fathers, teachers, and disciple-makers. We make disciple-makers who will make disciple-makers. Let’s learn a bit more…
- Great leaders are servants. The brother who is famous among all the churches (v. 18) is nameless. Interestingly, so is the one who was tested and found earnest in all matters (v. 22). Nameless. Not seeking recognition. Not with an agenda. Rather, seeking earnestly to serve.
- Great leaders have unquestionable integrity. Paul appointed someone over the financial gift from the Macedonian church who had proved himself trustworthy. He went to great lengths to ensure that there would be no criticisms or complaints. Integrity is someone who lives above reproach. Honest. Truthful. Fair.
- Great leaders delegate authority. No one can do it all and do it well. We all have been given unique gifts, talents, and abilities. Where you are weak, someone else is strong. A diverse team is a better team, able to minister to people from all walks of life with varying personalities.
- Great leaders encourage. In closing, Paul urges the church to show the proof of their love to their new leaders. He handed the baton off and expected unity amongst his team.
In some realm, we all have been called to be a leader. And in another, we’ve been called to be on the team. Think about your various roles today. How can we be better team members? In our church. In our home. In our workplace. In our neighborhood. Any ideas out there?