As leaders, we are called to cast vision, motivate people to get involved and organize people to accomplish God’s mandates. We need people! The vision God placed inside of you is greater than what you can do alone.
For me, it’s easy, people as a means to an end. I can be so focused on the God honoring mandates and tasks that I can view people as necessary tools to accomplish the vision. There are a few issues with this. 1.) I’m not loving them the way God wants me to 2.) I allow the performance of the people I’m leading to determine my value and worth as a leader.
How often do you feel let down by a someone you trusted? They don’t rise to the occasion. They don’t take ownership or have follow-through. You spend hours and hours counseling them and they still have the same problems! When these disappointments happen we can easily take this as a rejection and start questioning our ability and effectiveness.
I’ve found that when I have a negative emotional response from leading people, it means I needed them to give me something that I can only receive from God. If I need volunteers and key leaders to perform at a high level of excellence and feel inadequate or insecure when mistakes happen, something is wrong with me not the people who “let me down”.
Over the past few years I’ve had such freedom in this area and learned some valuable truths. Now, I don’t need people and it’s a good thing! It’s a good thing for me but as a leader it’s a good thing for the people I’m leading!
Here is a truth that can set you free: You can only truly love people to the extent that you don’t need them.
If I need someone (specifically emotionally) for my benefit it limits my ability to love them for their benefit. We see this truth in God’s love for us. God is complete; lacking nothing. He is no better or worse based on anything you and I do. We cannot take anything away from Him or add anything to Him. And yet He loves us. That is the purest of loves, truly unconditional.
Jesus was free from people, needing nothing from them and was free to fully love them. While we were sinners, Christ died for us. He loved us and served us because He didn’t need anything from us. It was all for our benefit. Jesus doesn’t need us but He wants us! He invites us into a thrilling relationship to walk the journey of faith with Him.
What if, as leaders, we could lead people in this way? What if instead of needing people we loved them and wanted them?
As a leader, I don’t need people to grow into great leaders…BUT I want them to. I want them to for their benefit not mine. I want them to because I love them and want to see them fulfill God’s call on their lives.
Let’s follow Christ’s example. Let’s be leaders that love people and serve people.