God’s design for the church was to gift leaders to the body that would equip them for ministry. Many times in leadership, we confuse our calling from God by believing that He wants us to DO the ministry when in reality he has called us to DEVELOP others for the work of ministry.
There are many lies we believe that we live and lead within ministry that come from the enemy, or even ourselves, that keep us from developing others for ministry. Here are 4 of them:
Lie #1 – No one can do it as well as I can.
There is a real tension between excellence and equipping that we have to live in. You might be the best at a certain function or task in ministry. You may be the best worship leader or public speaker. However, when excellence keeps us from leading through others, we begin to value excellence over equipping. The root of this lie is our pride. At one point you weren’t as good as you are now. Someone developed you and gave you a shot. Be a cheerleader and coach of others, rather than a control-freak who obsesses over every detail.
Lie #2 – My value is in what I do.
Our identity can be directly connected to our role and performance, and we can allow our work to shape our worth. Many of us confuse what we do for Him with our relationship with Him. Our identity can be tied to our productivity. If you believe the lie that your worth is in what you do, you can become threatened when someone else’s performance becomes equal to, or greater than, yours. When we believe this lie, we often put ourselves out front to prove what we can do to try and solidify our value, instead of developing the skill of others.
Lie #3 – I don’t have time.
The machine of ministry that we create can quickly become a black hole of need. There are slots to fill and events to pull off. We quickly become caretakers of the program and not curators of people. Curating talent and equipping others for ministry is what God has called us to do. If we don’t do this, we are living in disobedience. The hard truth is you have time for what you value; if you don’t spend time developing others then you don’t value it. Many times busyness is actually a wall we build to shield us from the very people God has called us to serve and develop. It’s not an excuse; it’s a lie.
Lie #4 – I’m the only one who is willing to do it.
Many of us got into ministry because we love people and seeing God transform their lives. As we gain confidence, the lines of what we do and what God does can become blurred. We can begin to believe our own press and become addicted to being the hero. If one isn’t careful to avoid it, living for the applause and refusing to give others significant roles can become our status quo. Our inability to share the LIGHT is the thing that keeps us from sharing the LOAD. If we’re honest, sometimes we don’t ask people to serve because we are afraid they may say yes and then they might get the accolade.
We must repent of believing in and living these lies. God has called us to do great things in his name, and that calling is dependent on the leaders of his church fulfilling their role as developers of others. Take some time to pray, process and confess where you might be falling short.