I had to say; 3 years ago I wouldn’t even call myself a leader. Not because I’m scared or ineffective or what, but because I don’t see myself as one. Sometimes, I just do what I do. Not needing any title or recognition but do things to please the Lord. I’m not the typical go-getter, super sanguine, ever-so-friendly and forthcoming shepherd of the flock.
Sometimes I think I’m too laidback and flimsy to lead a team. I never called my cell-group/ discipleship group, disciples or cell-babies. I’d rather call them my sisters, brothers and friends.
I could say I trust God but I trust myself so little. But that isn’t possible right? Trusting the Lord meant that you should have faith in what He does and what He can do through you –and well, I wasn’t there just yet.
Until years of refining, pruning and ‘pushing’ began.
I’ve always liked to be at the back of the stage; assisting, extending help to anyone who needs it. But there will come a time when Jesus Himself would shove you into the limelight. Not for your own glory but for His; a part of His expansion within you and through you.
As circumstances become unavoidable, I keep this little principle at hand: SET UP THE STAGE FOR THE AUDIENCE OF ONE. And the One that I am referring to is the Lord of the entire universe, God Himself.
Each of us will always be given different roles. Like in a play, there are the lead actors, supporting roles, extras, and the backstage guys (where I always prefer to be). No matter what kind of role you take, do it all for His glory. Whether you’re just there to fill up a seat next to the actor, or sweeping the floor in some street in the scene, do it passion and delight. It’s not the significance you portray but the heart you display that weighs.
Just like in real life. It’s not the number of successful ministries you’ve handled or the booming churches you probably helped get established. The Lord looks at the heart most of all.
So… yes, I can finally say I am a leader. Not just any kind of leader, but a servant-leader. And by that, it means I’m no higher than anybody. In fact I am called to serve, help and assist. Not to order around and let them do the dirty work. In God’s Kingdom, we’re taught to lead by showing.
The greatest thing that I love about being servant-leader is that I get to learn every single time, through every single experience, from every single being.
Here are some of the things I managed to note down.
I learned (and learning):
-To love the unlovable
There will always be people who will criticize and envy you. Some even want to pull you down, spread gossips and ruin your reputation. So there should always be room for forgiveness and genuine love –only by the grace of God.
-To really put effort, time and resources to people as this is essential in building relationships.
This is really a challenge, since most of the time I go on solo-flights. Now, I see those mall-trips, short lunches and long walks as opportunities to get to know people better, and to help them get closer to God.
-To put my walls down.
Another challenge, as I don’t trust people that easily. Most of the time, I get to know more about the other person, and he/she ends up knowing nothing about me at all. If people are eager, I let people do the talking mostly.
-To shut up even though you want to defend yourself because you know you’re right.
All of the lessons I’ve posted here are based on my experiences -at church mostly. I won’t mention particular instances but this particular lesson hurt. It taught me a lot about humility and placing everything in the Lord’s Hands.
-To hold back. A LOT.
Hold back disappointment, thoughts, criticisms and such. I learned that sometimes, the people you handle don’t need your words anymore –they already heard it elsewhere. What you need is intercession and fasting, sometimes they don’t see the mistake because their spiritually blinded.
-To be more patient and understanding as some don’t purposely intend to do/say what they do/say.
You know playful people that say everything all at the wrong place, time and people. And you end up being the big-bad-wolf.
-To forgive. And forgive. And forgive.
Every time, each day and every circumstance.
-To set aside what you think is right and better (for a moment) to give way for the other person to learn.
Like what I said up there, sometimes people don’t need your lesson. They just need time, prayers and understanding. In other cases, you just submit. Not because you’re weak but because you know this will help your brother learn.
-To pray, intercede for people and circumstances. True, consistent prayer and fasting.
I learned that indeed prayer, coupled with fasting works! But up to this moment, I am still praying for some people who needs greater grace from the Lord.
-To just rely on the Lord EVERY TIME. No amount of people, friends –even family can replace that kind of dependence.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I noticed that just as I am learning to depend on somebody, he/she gets taken out of my life –or walks away from me (either they get busy, migrate or something). This happen countless times (mostly dear friends) that it hit me that God wants me to trust Him FULLY. See Psalm 88. What I learned from this is that, whenever God is giving us a family, friend or a special someone, He meant it for our joy and security BUT that should NEVER REPLACE our dependence on the One who truly gives and takes away. As I wrote in my journal, “whatever I am and whatever I have, is at Your disposal, Lord”.
-To stop ranting and just say a prayer.
Sometimes ranting to a friend helps, but praying eases more.
-To appreciate the strengths –even the littlest of what you can see to encourage them. Compliment.
Always see the good in other people. Always back up a good criticism with an encouragement.
-Rant less to people, talk to God more. As you open up your heart (and mouth) to the Lord, you’d soon find out that you’re not in the mood to talk about it to people anymore.
This is so true.
-Be more sincere, caring and loving. I tend to be cold and too private at times.
-To appreciate subtle progress in the ministries –even at the very lives of people.
Who am I to judge someone? I could only pray and wish them well.
-To be there for people; to go the extra mile.
Even if it gets uncomfortable. Even if you’re tired, busy and all, make time. This, I still have to practice more.
-To NEVER get tired of listening –even if their stories and issues seem to go on a cycle and help (the Lord) is at hand.
What is pathetic to you may be troublesome to others. Each has different set of challenges, don’t feel all too good about yourself.
-To gather strength ONLY from God. Sometimes all those sensible people you used to confide with would not be there for you anymore.
Friends go, elder sisters get married and bachelors explore life. You saw them coming, you’ll see them going. Life goes on. People change but the Lord doesn’t.
It’s almost 2 in the morning and I better be sleeping. Again, what can I say, leadership is a great responsibility given to those who are willing to serve wholeheartedly. There’s so much to learn about everything that our brains cannot contain all of it. Just like the immensity of God’s knowledge which we can never exhaust in a lifetime!
I am excited (and nervously excited, lol) about what the succeeding years will teach me but furthermore, I’ve never felt this much love to the Philippines, my family, my friends, the church, the Filipino people than this year.
Stay still and be at peace at whatever circumstance. All glory to Yeshua. 🙂