With a lot of things being fought for nowadays, it is heartening to see leaders take Jesus seriously when He says, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” It is always a joyful sight when God raises a new breed of leaders who are committed enough to bring about change. But seeing leaders, who were once fired up, grow cold in their relationship with God is beyond disheartening. This is an option of last resort!
We Are Called First to Himself
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
As much as we value raising the next generation world changers, we must place the highest value on our relationship with the One who first called us to Himself. Raising godly leaders wouldn’t be possible unless we go deeper still into Jesus. For apart from Him, we can do nothing and will bear no fruit. And unless we remain as genuine followers of Jesus, we can’t be leaders worth following.
In his book, The Multiplication Challenge, Pastor Steve Murrell says,
“For better or for worse, the condition of the heart will affect the people they are leading.”
So while we are raising and developing others to lead, we must never disregard our responsibility to take a closer look on how healthy we are as followers of Jesus. On top of all, this is what we need to fight for!
As one pastor says, “The best gift you can give to people is a healthy you.” Our spiritual well-being has a lot to say about how well can we impart on others. We can’t impart love for God’s Word when we don’t take delight in reading the Bible. We can’t impart heart for the lost when we are too self-absorbed, believing the earth and all that’s in it revolves only around us. Even the importance of sharing lives with other believers would be hard to impart when others don’t see the reality of it in our life. We can only impart what we are and what is real to us.
It Takes F.A.I.T.H.fulness to Raise Godly Leaders
“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”
2 Timothy 2:2
We have an acronym — F. A. I. T. H. — we use to identify potential people that we are to raise as the next-in-line leaders. But for now, instead of using it to identify others, let’s use it to introspect how healthy we are as leaders and followers of Jesus.
FAITHFUL. Are the spiritual disciplines increasingly important to you? How consistent have you been in your personal walk with God? When was the last time you shared the Gospel? How are you helping others to follow Jesus?
AVAILABLE. No matter how faithful you think you are, only when you make yourself available to God, to His people, and to the lost can you be used greatly for His purposes. How ready is your schedule to serve and disciple someone? How willing are you to lead others to Jesus despite all the other demands of your season?
INVOLVED. Availability means nothing more unless you get involved. How have you been in participating in the volunteer ministry? Do you consider yourself as a part of church community? Establishing someone in the church community would be a challenge when we hardly understand the essence of it.
TEACHABLE. Being a leader, as well as raising the next generation leaders, means a lifetime call of humble “followership" to Jesus. How willing are you to learn and grow, and to receive training and correction? Did you intentionally ask someone more mature than you to speak to your life?
HUNGRY. Do you have a great desire to love, know, and honor God with your life? Do you thirst for God alone and His Word? As we want to see a generation that honors God, we need to see people satisfied with God but with a holy discontent for more. In this case, we are to take the lead!
Remember that we are not after perfection in all of this, but for progression. At the end of the day, we don’t want to catch ourselves spiritually busy in raising others to lead only to leave us spiritually unhealthy and dry.
Remaining faithful to the One who called us is imperative in raising the next generation leaders. For just as Jesus is the source of spiritual life, so also is He the source of spiritual growth, health, and fruitfulness.
Stef recently graduated from the School of Campus Ministry. She now coordinates the operations of Every Nation Campus Los Baños and ministers to the students of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, and other campuses in the area.