The Power to Empower
What you are called to do is so much bigger than you. You need God’s help. That help is most often met by the people that are in your life and coming into your life. You can only do what you can do, but God has placed people in your life as partners to help you accomplish what you cannot do.
Since the Garden of Eden, God has always used human partnership to accomplish His purposes on the Earth. It was God, then Adam. Then God provided Eve to help Adam, and they populated the earth in order to accomplish God’s purposes on the Earth. (Genesis 1:28)
Jesus had disciples. They were not just His disciples, they were His friends. They were also His partners.
“He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach” -Mark 3:14 NIV
The disciples were there with Jesus, partnering with Him. They gathered crowds, passed out food, advanced the message, and they even performed miracles. (Mark 6:13)
The disciples even took over and grew the ministry of Jesus after He left the planet.
(To the disciples he said) “Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.- John 14:12(NIV)
Jesus established a model and partners to advance His purposes, when He walked the Earth. It’s the greatest leadership strategy that the world has ever known. He didn’t just disciple followers, He discipled leaders!
If we are followers of Jesus, He wants us to emulate this model.
Leadership is often viewed as “be the best that you can be,” but what if we saw leadership as empowering others to be the best that they can be. Self improvement is critical, but leadership is not self improvement, it’s improving others. Leadership is not education, it’s impartation, imparting and empowering others to fulfill a greater purpose.
"Leadership is not self improvement,
It’s improving others."
In the end, our greatness will not be measured by what we do with what is in our hands, but what we put in the hands of others.
The Process of Empowering Others
- 1. Know Them
Jesus on the earth was highly relational. It wasn't just about the work they were doing, but the lives they were living. He was in their world and they were in His. So much so, that the disciples were irate when they discovered that the purpose He was accomplishing involved Him dying. (Matthew 16:21)
Look at this verse again: “He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach” -Mark 3:14 NIV
"Before you will ever lead somebody effectively,
you will have to connect with them relationally."
2. Show Them
Showing somebody how to do something can be difficult and time consuming sometimes. It can be true that many times it’s “easier (and even better) if I do it myself.” But if I continue to do it myself, then somebody else doesn't get to do it. It’s actually selfish.
Developing people takes time, but is aways more important than accomplishing tasks! Take the extra time to develop somebody to do what you are doing, and you might be surprised in the short amount of time that they are doing it better than you ever could!
Developing people > Accomplishing task.
3. Grow Them
Jesus spent way more time with His disciples than He did with the crowd. Much of what we read in the gospels are resourcing moments where Jesus was growing his disciples.
Resourcing and encouraging those who are around you is your responsibility as a leader. Whether it be an article, blog, video, a message, or something you generate yourself, it is the leader’s job to be the equipment manager of the people they are developing.
4. Let Go of Them
I heard years ago that if somebody can do what I am doing 80% as good as I can, then I should give it to them.
This is a struggle for me. I am a hands on leader. I am also very particular. (All of the people close to me said “Amen!”) This can be a problem because if I am not careful, I will micromanage what I hand off. It can cause those that I impart to to operate out of fear and become insecure. Insecure leaders will sometimes meet expectations but rarely exceed them. In order for people to get better, they have to be able to set expectations for themselves rather than living under the scrutiny of the person delegating to them.
"Insecure leaders will sometimes meet expectations
but rarely exceed them."