These last couple years have held some of the biggest trust lessons I’ve ever grown from.
God is constantly teaching me to not need a reason or explanation…but just to trust Him implicitly. If He says go, I go. If He says stay, I stay. It’s all about the obedience aspect.
One way that He is helping me understand my relationship with Him is by putting leaders in my life and asking me to serve them with my whole heart and with a joyful spirit.
To be completely honest, I have always struggled with authority figures. I have always had this pride that makes me think that I am right, and that I know best.
After making several mistakes where I have really disregarded authority and blamed them for so many of my own problems, God broke down that barrier in a very painful way.
I have been on both sides of leadership. Surprisingly, I like being on the servant side a lot more.
See, being a leader requires that you have a very heavy responsibility.
People – real live humans – depend on you. You answer to their problems, their issues, their ugliness, their beauty, their hearts. And it’s HARD. You will always have someone who doubts you, disapproves of your actions/life, or openly mocks you.
If there is one thing I could share that you would remember, it is this:
Encourage your leaders, and give them a break!
Hebrews 13:17 (ESV) says,
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
There is no advantage to us tearing down our leaders and talking badly about them behind their backs. Does that encourage them to lead us better and with more joy and patience?
Truly good leaders answer to God, and God alone. They are not here to be all that you want them to be. If God has trusted them with leadership, He trusts their judgment and discernment.
One example I have is of two women that I love and adore with all my heart. Their names are Lisa and Cadence, and they work in Nicaragua as missionaries, heading up a student sponsorship program.
Since I lived with them for more than a year, I saw all the hard work they put into their job and how little they are recognized for it. Lisa and Cadence work long, sometimes 14-hour days, tirelessly speaking with families, writing sponsor updates, handing out school supplies, having hard conversations with kids, tutoring kids, and pouring their hearts out to the community. They have put their lives into this program and setting up the poverty-stricken communities of Candelaria, Santa Matilde, Nuevo Amanecer, and La Isla for success by putting their children in school and promoting education.
The communities have a great love for these two women, and show their gratitude in so many beautiful ways. However, I have seen the ugly side of people as well when they feel as though they know best how sponsorship money should be used.
If they put themselves in Lisa’s and Cadence’s shoes, they would not want the load of work, the ungratefulness, the responsibility, and the long hours.
Even after being lied to, shouted at, dead-tired, and also, I will add, raising financial support to do what they do, these women continue to build and grow this program because they have had a calling to this ministry.
And I know they forget all of the negativity when they get to make those visits to tell a child and their family that they’ve received a sponsor. I’ve been on those visits, and I feel like crying every time I see it happen. The JOY that flows when you tell someone that a person from thousands of miles away saw their picture on the internet and saw something special that they just HAD to support…it is magnificently beautiful.
It is incredible how much someone believing in you can do to your self-esteem. When someone believes in you, your soul gets set on fire and you believe that anything is possible. That you can change the world. That God isn’t crazy in His love for you and hope for the best for your life.
We as humans are better as a team than a single individual.
The Lord already holds leaders to a high standard and they answer to Him.
Our job as servants and followers, members of an organization or congregation is to SUPPORT and ENCOURAGE.
Instead of criticizing your leader, encourage them in love. You probably have no idea the amount of work and responsibility they have. You probably don’t know how many people want to talk to them and give their opinion.
Love with your whole heart.
Follow Lisa and Cadence’s blogs:
Cadence – http://cadencesnyder.wordpress.com/
Sponsor a student through Educate Nica for $25 a month: