As leaders, we should be like reflectors. It doesn't matter if you teach Sunday school, a small group, or even pastor a church-we should be reflecting a light that is not our own.
I have seen churches, youth groups, and small groups over the years crumble after a leader steps down. Why does this happen? Who is to blame? Both the leader and the followers share in this responsibility.
Followers often put leaders on a pedestal and believe no other leader could fill his/her shoes. These"believers" run to the next vibrant and engaging speaker and do the same to him/her.
As leaders, we often love to hear accolades of how good we are doing and how God is using us in someone else's life. We walk a tightrope between our own ego and God's glory. The glory should belong not to the one using the gifts but to the gift giver.
We need to recognize that we will not always be around. Are we preparing our ministry for our eventual exit? Any of us could die this week.
What would become of your ministry? Are your followers His followers? Your people need to be able to continue on without you. This means letting go and empowering your staff and volunteers to share more of the load. They need buy-in to change their point of view from helping with 'your' ministry to working in 'our' ministry.
We must also help our followers to see that following you as a leader rather than seeking God through your ministry is idolatry. This false perception is perpetuated by us. When we give out fish rather than teach the art of fishing we enable our idol worshipers to continue looking at a light-less reflector. We are not God and need to practice continual glory shifting in order to keep pride from taking root in our life. Lead with Christ's legacy in mind. In fifty years people will be celebrating what God has done rather than mourning a dying ministry and wishing for the glory days when you were at the helm.
Stop pedaling in the dark and ride toward His light. If it is always about Him, then it will be fine without you.
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