The Expendable Leader

You can double your contribution by taking steps to assure that the work you are doing continues after your service ends.

When the associate pastor, who led several small groups, resigned to take another position, the church librarian said, "Lori won't be missed as much as most pastors who leave." If the comment ended there, it would sound as though Lori's ministry wasn't very effective. Quite the opposite was true. From any subject, Lori could challenge and inspire members of her audience to make and keep a commitment.

The librarian explained. "Because Lori made it a priority to train other people, she doesn't leave such a big hole in the church program." In most every small group, someone could step in to assume the leadership.

The idea of an expendable leader began with John the Baptist. Shortly after Jesus began His ministry, the forerunner of Christ said, "He must become greater; I must become less" (John 3:30, NIV). The dynamic preacher who announced a new dispensation willingly stepped aside to allow Christ to take center stage.

A good prayer for Christian leaders might go like this: "Lord, help me to make the greatest contribution to Your kingdom that I am capable of making." You can double your contribution by taking steps to assure that the work you are doing continues after your service ends.

Even if you expect to serve for the long-term, God can always use new leaders. "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field" (Matt. 9:37). As you pray for more leaders, ideas for developing them will come to you. Here are a few ideas to start you thinking:

Provide opportunity. Occasionally slip into the background to put others up front. Enlist a group member to lead devotions or make a report on a subject that relates to the theme under study. When someone makes ...

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