We often peruse Scripture for the most profound truths, which is great, but in doing so we sometimes miss the simplest truths and timeless insights that Jesusí ďday to dayĒ ministry taught us.

Recently, the Lord has been reminding me of several fundamental principles of leadership as exemplified through His public ministry.

Here are five reminders that the Spirit has breathed upon me in my morning Scripture study this summer. Maybe some of them will resonate with you, as well.

   

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#5: Jesus doesnít need you as much as He wants you

A careful examination of Scripture reveals something beautiful about Christís calling forth of the apostles from the group of disciples (Mark 3:13, Luke 6:13): while Jesus desired them, He didnít ďneedĒ them, so to speak. Jesus chose to animate the gifts of those around Him, calling them into loving service.

Christ came (in part) to establish the Church on earth, yes, but He wasnít about to fulfill Godís mission alone.  As the perfect leader, He understood the importance of delegation and empowerment in building Godís Kingdom on earth.

Notice that Jesus sought them out, He didnít wait for them to come.

Do you actively seek out Core Members and Catechists throughout the year or just wait and hope they come knocking on your door at a parish ministry fair?

 

#4: Jesus didnít judge His teamís effectiveness by outward appearance

Have you ever fallen into the Youth Ministry trap, for instance, of thinking you need the youngest, hippest Core Team of Catechists? Or the Adult Ministry trap of believing only the older or most knowledgeable should be doing the teachings?

Letís be clear:

There is no perfect Core Team.

Having all young souls or all older souls doesnít create the optimal balance of energy and wisdom or of openness and life experience. Christ Himself reminds us to look deeper than the outward appearance (Matthew 7:2). This is yet another reason that a Core application process, ongoing training, and true discernment should go into every potential Core Memberís involvement.

Donít just take warm bodies, and donít just dismiss bodies that seem too out of the mold.

 
 

#3: Jesus didnít measure ministry effectiveness by activities, but by prayer

Jesus modeled delegation and dependence on others so that the ministry and mission could move forward (Luke 9:1-6).

If it was modeled by Christ, itís time for all the one-person ministry shows to cease, allow others to help, so you, as the leader, can pray more!

 
 
 

#2: Jesus didnít measure ministry effectiveness by activities, but by prayer

Jesus modeled delegation and dependence on others so that the ministry and mission could move forward (Luke 9:1-6).

If it was modeled by Christ, itís time for all the one-person ministry shows to cease, allow others to help, so you, as the leader, can pray more!

 
 

#1: Jesus knew how to handle frustration

Enthusiasm is contagious, but so is negativity.

Ministry is difficult. Ministry is stressful at times. Certain souls in the kingdom Ė and, indeed, in ministry Ė can suck all the joy right out of you if you let them, so donít! Choose joy, and breathe peace.

Take a page out of Jesusí playbook.

Be steadfast in love and stand firm in truth (John 6:51-58, Luke 9:37-42). Donít cater to the crowds and donít react to negativity; virtue demands more. Stand in the face of adversity. Kneel in the presence of divinity. Laugh in the face of negativity.

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).

Jesus didnít do things in a manner that a lot of modern parish staffs would be comfortable with, to be sure. Christís Church has survived and thrived for two millennia, and will not cease (Matthew 16:18).

If you want your ministries and, indeed, your parish to thrive long after youíve been called home to heaven, delegate now. Empower others with Christís mission and watch that commission change the face of the world for years to come.

 

 

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