“One day, you’re going to do this, too,” Tita Coney said while holding up that purple booklet called “One-to-One.” In my head, incredulous! Me? Do One-to-One???
That happened about 7 years ago, in her home, during one of our regular discipleship sessions. The past few Mondays have been bits and pieces to my life since I became a Christian- my early revelation about lordship, my salvation because of faithful evangelists, and discipleship as a way to sustain my new and victorious life in Jesus. All of which I gladly received, and honestly felt like I needed. But this? I didn’t see this coming.
One to One is a process in our church wherein someone who surrenders his life to Jesus, commits to at least 6 meetings with a more mature, godly member of the church. Together they use the purple booklet I was talking about, and go through 6 Biblical principles one must understand if he really is serious about claiming his life in victory.
Obviously it sounds easier and more natural for me today. But back then I was really terrified of the thought that like Tita Coney, I’d also be leading someone in faith, somewhere, someday, somehow. Leadership gave me the chills. It scared me as much as cockroaches did. (If you know me when it comes to roaches, you’d get the exact amount of terror in your imagination.)
I think I was like that because I was more used to being a follower, and knew I lacked confidence in my own judgment and capabilities. I also was afraid of the responsibilities; to whom much is given, much is required!
My concerns were valid. After all, we don’t want unworthy leaders, right? Yet the Bible is filled with leaders of that kind! I mean hello, Moses the stutterer??? Paul the ex-slayer of Christians??? Abraham who succumbed to his wife’s scheme to fulfill what only God can…David who fell for Bathsheba…Peter who denied Jesus 3 times!
When I realized that, I found myself with no excuse. The Bible is filled with unworthy, even terribly fallen leaders who were changed and enabled by God. I knew God was asking me the same old question he threw at Abraham and Sarah thousands of years ago, “Is there anything too hard for the LORD?” Waaah. So then I said, I must do this.
I then started to pray for the very first ever person I was to do One-to-One with, and in a few weeks time I finally met Cynthia. Before our first meeting, I read and prepared. That meant polishing my testimony, or “my story.” I thought, who wouldn’t be convinced about this actress who used to strip for the movies and was drunk half her life but now turned to and completely surrendered to the Lord? And so I proceed to tell my looong story and only asked her afterwards about how she was and where she was in life. Point blank she answered, “Well, I have lupus and the reason that I am here with you today is because someone told me ‘let the doctors be doctors and let God be God.’”
Ack! There I was thinking I will wow and minister to her with my story, when the truth is God used her to tell me of His greatness and my pride. That day I learned that leading, although it has a lot to do with who you are and what you do, is really so little about yourself.
Since then I am happy to say that I have already matured a lot in the area of leadership. Thanks to years of struggling to put up my own group where I can practice ownership, dozens of speaking engagements that forced me to prepare and overcome stagefright, and models of leadership that I can easily find in church. And though I don’t really lead something as big as an entire organization as do my husband, or a whole movement as do the president of our ministry, I still would like to share a couple of things I have so far learned about leadership!
1. Lead and Lean
Through different situations and problems of those I lead, I have learned that even the best version of my testimony, my skills, or my experience, will not work apart from the power of God. To be able to effectively lead others, it is important to be wholeheartedly leaning on God, because only He can enable us to say the right things at the right time in the right spirit. Leading is only possible not by might, but by His Spirit!
2. Lead and Learn
Leading means never ceasing to learn and grow. If one is tasked to blaze the trail before everybody else, then she must be able to study and check and know the path ahead of everybody else!
Also, the more one leads, the more one learns. When leaders pursue the best for their subjects, they genuinely seek answers to their hard questions which consequently brings much knowledge and maturity.
3. Lead and Live
Actions speak louder that words can’t be truer than in the area of leadership. Just think about your parents. Have they ever told you to not do something which you found to be so hard to follow just because they do it themselves? Similarly, I find that my words don’t have power if my life can’t back them up.
There is this verse, Psalm 101:6, which I find to be true and with so much wisdom, “…he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me.” This was actually King David talking to and about his subjects and it made me realize that even Kings will follow a person who walks blamelessly, righteously, with integrity!
4. Lead and Love
Leading according to the Bible is way beyond standing in front of millions while all of them watch you speak, or all eyes glued to one pastor preaching in the pulpit. Leading God’s way really is more unattractive than that.
But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
Mark 9:34-36 (ESV)
Jesus washed sinners’ feet. He didn’t ride in fancy cars to gain influence. He didn’t need opulence to be charitable. He didn’t need a stage to say speak the Truth. Instead He served, He spared time, He provided love, wisdom, and a real relationship that lasts till eternity. He gave His life, He gave Himself. Now tell me if this isn’t someOne who took leadership seriously.
Many think that being a leader means holding a glamorous position, when it really is more concerned about the welfare of others than his own conceited influence. I think that true leadership genuinely loves and so seriously does everything, even if it means dying to himself, if only to enact that love.
In my life, aside from Jesus, I have been privileged to be led by some of the most awesome, selfless people in the world. But of all I’d like to take this opportunity to say that my husband is the best. In honor of this man’s amazing, graceful, leadership in our home, I’d like to close this blog by quoting a part of the vows I made before him, our loved ones, and the Lord, on our wedding day 4 years ago…