I am back in my home after three weeks of visiting family and being on the road, and I am loving sleeping in my own bed!
On Tuesday, as we drove home, I read the last chapter in Running with the Giants from John C. Maxwell.
This chapter was on Jonathan, and it was called, “Strengthen a Leader and Save a Nation.” I really enjoyed this chapter as it focused on how Jonathan saw the big picture. He knew that David was supposed to be the next leader of Israel, so he set out to help David be the best leader that he could be instead of trying to promote himself.
I feel like this concept is hard for many Christians to truly put into practice. Of course, we all like to be appreciated and it is easy for our sin nature to rise up and for us to experience jealousy or to be envious when others get the limelight. But we should all come together and want the best for our brothers and sisters in the Lord and to want them to be the best they can be.
I heard of a story once of a person who had to work with others heading up a church ministry. The leaders of that ministry did not have good organizational skills or a complete knowledge of what they should be doing, yet they had a heart for wanting children to come to Christ. The person was frustrated with the seeming chaos that may happen and did not want to help them so that they could fail and then realize that they weren’t doing it right. I was astounded! Our desire should always be that our brothers and sisters succeed for the sake of Christ even if they get the recognition for a successful program and we, the helpers, do not. It is not the leader that has succeeded, but Christ and His ministry that has succeeded.
All that we do should be aimed at making Christ great — whether or not we get any praise or recognition. That’s the big picture.
Jonathan got the big picture. In this chapter, John C. Maxwell says Jonathan’s big-picture thinking allowed Him to see 3 things:
- It allowed him to see himself from the right perspective.
He judged himself realistically. I like how Maxwell says, “If you overestimate your value, you may do things to feed your ego. If you underestimate your value, you may become discouraged and neglect doing the things you can do.” Jonathan realized David was the right person to become the next king, that David was a better leader; and he realized that he could help David be a great leader.
- It allowed him to see others from the right perspective.
Since he saw that David was the man to be the next king, he did what he could to promote David and not himself.
- It allowed him to do what’s right from God’s perspective.
Seeing God’s perspective allowed him keep his personal ambition in check and to obey God’s desire for the future of Israel.
John C. Maxwell gears his books toward training future leaders and those who are the assistant pastors or support teams for companies. But much of what he says can be applied to those of us who are just regular servants of Christ who want our local churches and ministries of Christ to thrive for the sake of Christ’s name and glory in this world. In this chapter, I love the following quotes:
Only when you see what is important will you be willing to do the seemingly unimportant.
Whether it’s cleaning bathrooms, working in the nursery, making copies, buying snacks, setting up chairs, and many more tasks that never get recognized, they are important as that is what the ministry needs at that moment.
Every time you encounter people with potential, you must make a choice. You can either hurt them or help them.
To tell the truth, I don’t like recognition in front of a group of people. But it is nice to be told thanks or to be appreciated. I get that! Yet this is something that some people really struggle with. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Let’s be happy when other people maybe can do it better than us and they get noticed. Let’s see what others can do and encourage and help them so that they do a great job. We all need each other. Even if we can do it better, we won’t always be around. Others need to learn how to do those jobs; let’s help others succeed. When we all pull together in love and help each other to learn how to grow and become better at what needs to be done, Christ will be glorified and the love of Christ will be evident to others that see us serving.
As a supporter, you share in your leader’s success.
If others shine and you have helped them get to that place where they are, you share in that success. When the VBS program does well, and kids are saved, the ladies who served snack are just as important as the teachers who taught the lesson. When an Easter performance goes well and many visitors see the wonder of what Christ did for them, those who passed out fliers and served in the nursery and cleaned the buildings share in the successful ministry of the performance. We all are needed, yet we don’t need the praise — here on earth. God alone deserves the praise and glory and honor. One day, if we strive to make Him successful, He will tell us, “Well done, good and faithful servant;” That is what we should desire to receive!
Empower others as you meet them along the way. Pick them up when they fall, help them to run better, and pass along what we have taught you. And run with endurance the race that is set before you, looking at Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, lest you become wear and discouraged in your souls. — John C. Maxwell
Here are the other thoughts from the chapters in Running with the Giants from John C. Maxwell:
Here were some posts I enjoyed reading from last week’s party:
- That Time When We Became Unexpected Homeschoolers from The Mad Mommy
- 12 Tips On How To Help Your Aging Parents from Ducks ‘n a Row
- Why is it important for a family to go on vacation? from Frugal Family Adventures
- The problem with missionaries from Beautiful Southern Heart
- Many Members . . . One Body from A New Lens
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