A pastor’s reflection on the importance of raising up strong, gospel centered leaders in the church to continue to work:
Friends, this past while, I have wondered what might happen if something tragic was to happen to me. I wonder who would care about my family? Who would look after my friends? Who would take over the ministry? I know… it’s a morbid thought, but I believe it’s important because there’s something significant behind the question.
One day, I won’t be able to continue on in the work I start. No man can continue his work forever. One day, time will be up and no man by worrying can add a single hour to his life. Once time is up, it’s up. We don’t have a whole lot of choice in the matter. My ministry, my life, my steps are all known by God and there’s a purpose and reason for them all. And one day, there will be no more time to continue the work that has been given to me. No more time for my ministry, my friends, or even my family…
So what do we do with this ‘revelation’? Is work meaningless? Vanity of vanities? Does it matter if I can’t take it with me?
I can’t say that work is meaningless. I believe work is purposeful. I believe I am here for a reason: to glorify and enjoy God with the work and life I’ve been given. Therefore, I should do everything in my power to enjoy my work and do it to the best of my ability if it is something that glorifies God.
Above and beyond that, I believe we should be strategic when it comes to work. Because one day, my work will be done in a way that is significant or otherwise. I might be called away to different work Jesus calls me to. I might have the ability to work taken away from me by illness, disease or injury. My life may even be taken from me before I wish it were. In light of that, does my influence and leadership stop the moment my ability to work stops? If I leave the ministry, is all that we’ve worked for stop as well? If (God forbid) I’m hit by a bus, would the church find it’s way back to the state it was in before we arrived?
The truth is friends, I don’t know the time I have. Better put, I can’t control the hours of my work or ultimately my life. But I believe in the work God has called me to and we can (and should) begin to think strategically about building a house that stands not on a singular leader, but many leaders.
Todd Adkins on the New Churches Q&A Podcast says, “the fruit of a leader is another leader”. As we look being good stewards of God’s house and God’s people, we have to acknowledge that my life is a limiting factor. However, the knowledge, vision and mission God has given me for such a time as this, can be passed down from person to person. The skills and abilities I’ve gained can be taught to new leaders through whom the mission of PCC can continue on no matter who lead’s God’s house next.
I am not in control of the minutes of my life. But for the minutes that I do have, I know I can gain, organize, optimize and entrust knowledge to others who could continue the mission God has given to us. It is, at it’s core, good stewardship and management of God’s resources to minimize the risk by developing leaders who will love Jesus and serve our communities long after I’m gone to continue to see the gospel impact our neighbors for generation after generation.
Good strategy doesn’t put all your eggs in one basket if that basket could break at any moment. To be good stewards of God’s house, let us be strategic in training up gospel centered, biblical leaders gifted in leadership so that no matter what happens to us, the mission will continue forward.
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.