Monday, August 4, 2008

A New Command for Ministry Leaders

Jesus did not come to add to or take away from the law - not in the slighest (Matt 5:17-19). And yet in the New Testament he had precisely one new command. It wasn't a new law but a new application of the greatest law. Out of all the important things He could have told His disciples, what crucial new assignment did Jesus actually have for those He loved? John 13:34-35 tells us: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

So today, ministry leader, if you (like me) have focused much on the tasks and goals of ministry, I have a new command for you: Love - your - team. You guys have a heart for the people you serve or you wouldn’t be doing what you do. What the Lord is saying, what I’m asking you to do, is to “Love on those you equip and serve with, not just those you serve.” Share your heart, passion and vision. Go beyond the task. There is a dual-focus of ministry – the way you treat your people, and the way you love those you serve. Here is what I had to share with my ministry leaders at Calvary last week...

Why have I become an intern in Volunteer Ministries at Calvary, and why I’m now going to seminary to study Ministry Leadership? It’s because as I look back over the first half of my life I see a man who while He loves God has been focused on the task, a skillful doer who would rather just do something himself than get slowed down by a team, a person focused on the results. That half of my life is over – for the rest of my life, starting today, I want to live for God by serving others, by investing in people and building up leaders, by encouraging and equipping my brothers and sisters to fan into flame the gifts and passion God has given you – in ministry that transforms lives! I want to be there for you guys, I want to encourage you and equip you and challenge you to be who God has called you to be, and do what God has called you to do. And today I ask you from my heart – Love your team. Build them up. Invest in them. See beyond the task of ministry, as important as that is, and start to think in terms of empowering others to transform lives.

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