Any of us can easily succumb to disappointments or weighty expectations in areas of leadership, yet the privilege of helping others to grow and to serve is like no other. What does it profit someone to gain the whole world and lose their soul? Jesus asked this in regard to accepting the gift of eternal life, but the soul of a life lived for God is also important. Many pursue all sorts of gains, but sometimes at the expense of the greatest gain of laying aside our own interests so that God’s will might be done through us.
We can all choose to apply our time, gifts and finances to exercising influence to the best of our ability. But do we also consider that serving Christ means making disciples, which means influencing people, no matter how few? This obviously needs to be according to wiring and opportunity, but everyone can lead someone, since leadership is influence. It often just takes intentionality and a determination to act now and to avoid procrastination.
In a shrinking world with massive exposure to news that we never used to hear, life can be catastrophised to the extent that it overwhelms us. But let’s never miss an opportunity to continue to influence one life at a time, to lead wherever we are. Sometimes, that one person or need is staring us in the face. God uses us to be His mouthpiece and His hands in situations that don’t require us to be an inferior version of someone else, just the best version of ourselves!
That happens as we plug into His power and get a bigger vision of who God has called us to be. The power of His Spirit in us and a healthy dose of self-belief that is grounded in how God sees us, can produce a realistic ‘can-do’ optimism that can see us take on the world. It doesn’t need a title or a position, just an availability and faithfulness to serve Jesus in the ways He uniquely calls us and then a teachable and submitted heart to keep us aligned to His Church.
So, when I’m tempted to look at what others could or should do, I find it’s time to start asking whether I have been called to be God’s man for the moment. Open and ready and – in Him – also able!