Recently I have just started reading “Unlocking your giftedness” by (Bobby and Richard) Clinton. I’ll try and do a more detailed review or summary once I finished it, at the moment I’m only 30 odd pages in. If you can get past the title, and Clinton’s unique terminology (which I personally find really helpful – but understand can feel pretentious at first glance!) you’ll learn a lot from this book and others by him.
At the moment I’ve found myself really challenged by the “Stewardship Model” of leadership which he highlights from Jesus’ teaching. He describes the models as
a philosophical model which is founded on the central thrust of several accountability passages, that is, that a leader must give account of his/her ministry to God
The basic message is that as a leader we are accountable to God for the gifts, role and ministry we are in.
Recently Louie Giglio at his Church – Passion City Church – has finished a series “Don’t waste your…” (each sermon covering a different area: health, time, influence, family, work etc). Well worth a listen! Seeming as the theme has come up in multiple ways from different sources in my life – I assume God wants me to spend some time thinking about it…
The thing is I don’t naturally view things like my time, and “gifts” (teaching, preaching, etc) as resources which I need to steward well. One day I will have to give an account to God on these things. So how am I making practical changes to the way I use these resources:
- Focused ministry – I believe that God has gifted me particularly in preaching, communicating and teaching. He has blessed me with the ability to learn and then to teach clearly what I have learnt. Therefore rather than investing the majority of my time in administration and organizing events (things which are important and not to be neglected), I have started writing leadership training resources for student leaders. I am rethinking the format of our main meetings, slowly moving from Bible studies, to seminar style followed by group discussion (Bible crucial!). In this way I am using the gifts God has given me to help others! I totally get that there is a tension here, but the point is that I don’t want to be neglecting the gifts I have been given.
- Prayerful Sacrifice – this is just a fancy way of saying that I understand that when Jesus says in John 15 that apart from Him we cannot produce fruit, my efforts alone are futile. When it comes to offering my time, energy, mind etc to a project, I don’t start from a point of doing it by myself, in my own strength. But I pray before hand, Jesus I need you help, Holy Spirit please empower me to produce fruit in this. This doesn’t have to take long, as its the posture of dependence that matters. (Hope this all makes sense!) In order to steward my resources well, I give them, dependently! Just like Jesus gave thanks for the bread before He shared it to a few thousand!
- Looking outward – as a leader, Clinton states that people are a main resource God gives us. So I am looking at the student leaders I have, a team of 5 students, and I’m asking where are their gifts, where are their passions? Am I giving Tom a task which Joel would be better suited to. How can I help this guys flourish and in turn how can I help them help the others!
There are so many ways that we can be good stewards of what and who God has given us, I think the first step to this is being aware of it! Realize it’s a priority, for everyone – not just “leaders”. We are all called to use well what God has given us.
Consider taking 20 minutes out of your week to ask what God has given you to steward and how you can use it well!