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Why You’re Not Qualified for the Position… Yet

PositionIf they’d just make me a manager, I’d make this company better.

If I could just find a staff position, I could really serve people.

If I just had a church of my own to pastor.

I used to think that way. When I went to college, I wanted nothing more than to serve as the Pastor of a church. It took a while for it to happen, so in the meantime, I looked up a local nursing home and started walking eight blocks weekly to lead a bunch of really sweet, old people in a Bible study.

A little church finally called me as their Pastor and within a few months I was beginning to realize just how ill-equipped I was for the position. It nearly ended my ministry career. I think I should have served people a little longer without a position.

Here’s the point. Stop seeking a position. Start serving people.

If you were to build the company and inspire others with extra encouragement right where you are, or volunteer to take on a project and grow it, or pastor and shepherd a circle of people without a paycheck, you’d essentially make it very clear that you’re the right person for the position.

Leadership IS serving others. So with or without a position, start serving others today and helping them to move forward. Your dream position will likely be the result of having earned it ahead of time.

The question isn’t what would you love to do if you were given the position? It’s what are you already doing even before you’re in the position?

Photo by Alberto Lugli via Unsplash.

Three Prerequisites to Leading Others Well

Ninety and Nine

I have no idea who this is, but the dog looks nice.

Being loud doesn’t make you a leader. Neither does being popular. Leadership is influence, and influence means taking people in a direction they wouldn’t otherwise be going – hopefully forward. Ambition isn’t enough to qualify you to lead. There is more to the equation.

You need to be led before you can really lead. This one is tough for eager leaders, but in order to lead well, you must first be okay with being led. One of the greatest leaders I know who was in charge of 350+ staff in a well-known megachurch said, “I’m a man under authority.” If you don’t know what it’s like to follow or if you’re unwilling to learn from those ahead of you, you’re not quite ready to lead.

You need to love people before you can really lead. You can lead and love self, but the end result is pretty pitiful. Great leaders love those they are leading. Good shepherds have a tendency to lay down their lives for their sheep, and great leaders are always thinking about how to move their followers to the next level.

You need to become a servant before you become a leader. We know that servanthood is the prerequisite to kingdom influence based on Jesus’ example and His words, but we don’t like to let go of our identity as a leader to fully embrace it. We even like to call ourselves “servant-leaders” so we’re not leaving out the leadership part of the equation. But think differently for a moment. What if you saw yourself as a servant first and as a leader second? How would it change the way you lead people?

Can you lead and influence without being led, being a lover of people, and being a servant? Sure, but why would you want to? Your reward for such leadership is shallow and short-lived. Instead, choose the Jesus path – be a servant and a shepherd. Be led well, and then lead with confidence!


And here’s a follow-up thought…

Ranting on Facebook versus Doing the Hard Stuff

Soup Line

My ten-year-old, making an actual difference, without even having a Facebook account even though she’s begging for one.

Ranting and raving on Facebook about how the immoral, evil, liberal, leftist, socialists have taken over and will be the demise of our country doesn’t equate to you “standing up for what is right” or “making a difference.” It means you can type. Congrats.

I understand posting about issues you feel strongly about and have no problem with anyone who expresses their beliefs publicly. But when you get hateful, think about how your tone reflects on what you say you believe (or WHOM you say you believe in).

It’s easier to curse welfare than to help serve a meal at a local homeless shelter or mentor a young person toward success. It’s easier to hold up a sign about abortion being murder than to befriend someone experiencing the panic of an unexpected pregnancy with no one there offering to help if they choose life over death. It’s easier to shout about liberal fiscal spending than to curtail our own out-of-control consumer materialism and credit card craziness.

Maybe we need less ranting, which is easy, and more of the hard stuff. Then again, stooping to serve doesn’t feed my need to feel powerful nearly as well.

8 Reasons to Take a Sunday to Serve Outside the Church Walls

Ella ServingWe called ours We Love NWA because that’s how people refer to our community. Whatever you call it, we’re glad we took a weekend away from having a worship service in our theater to serve our neighbors. We’re not the first, by any means to have a weekend to “be” the church instead of “doing” church. Other churches have cancelled their regular weekend worship time to go serve in various capacities. But why?

As we geared up for our big weekend, contacted local charitable organizations, and signed up volunteers, we kept the conversation going among our leadership about why we were doing this to begin with. Ultimately, we decided the concept reflected the culture of our church very well, and would accomplish some big goals for us. Let me clarify first, however, the reasons we ruled out:

  • We will not do this simply to attract attention. Attention is valuable, but is never the big goal.
  • We will not do this to “get people to come to church.” It wasn’t about serving in hopes of the return favor of a visit.
  • We will not do this to “take a break” from worship. If this isn’t worship, nothing is.

Instead, taking a Sunday to serve outside the walls might be a good idea because…

  1. It’s what Jesus did and would do, if He were physically still among us. He would love and serve people in tangible ways.
  2. It’s a break for people who devote time “within the walls” to be free to go outside the walls, which is where our bigger focus lies.
  3. It’s an introduction to serving, and we heard repeatedly, “I’d like to do this more often, not just on this Sunday.” Bullseye!
  4. It gives us a chance to practice “with reach.” That is, we can serve alongside non-members and even non-believers, creating community so that people can belong, even before they believe.
  5. It’s a bonding time for the people serving together on a project.
  6. It’s a way to communicate that “giving” involves more than the offering plate. It also involves our time and talents.
  7. It blesses people around us, earning the church a bit of trust for the hearing of the gospel when the door opens.
  8. It’s fun. This wasn’t our primary motive, but it was certainly fun!

This was our first experience with this kind of project. All in all, 108 volunteers gave 371 hours to eight different community service projects. That thrills me, and it made a definite, visible impact on our community and helped us to build relationships with local agency leaders. Would we do it again? Absolutely! And we will, next year!


By the way, have you "liked" Grace Hills Church on Facebook yet?


Chuck Swindoll: Serve God By Serving People

Chuck SwindollMen like Chuck Swindoll have a way of articulating profound truths in rather simple statements. In my own mind, I’ve struggled to figure out how to get the idea across that we need to serve people in order to serve God. In today’s insight for living Chuck had this to say…

We find it encouraging to think of ourselves as God’s servants. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a servant of the King? But when it comes to serving other people, we begin to question the consequences. We feel noble when serving God; we feel humble when serving people. Serving God receives a favorable response; serving people (especially those who cannot repay) has no visible benefit or glory from anyone except from God!

Christ gave us the example: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). To be a servant of God, we must be a servant of people.

via Chuck Swindoll’s Daily Devotional: When You Grow Up.

If we talk too much about serving people, some get the idea that we’re substituting social service for the gospel. On the contrary, serving people paves the way for the gospel, expresses the results of the gospel, and is simply the right thing to do.

If you really want to serve God, serve people for God’s glory.


By the way, have you "liked" Grace Hills Church on Facebook yet?