by Alex Hardt, Associate Pastor – Youth and Young Adults
“Great leaders share themselves and what they have learned.” – Developing the Leader Around You by John Maxwell
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” -John Quincy Adams
“The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.” -John Maxwell
The Bible is filled with instruction on discipling believers. But we see also, woven into the Scriptures, examples of leadership and the value of raising up great leaders within the body. For instance, Jesus calls 12 disciples, 11 of whom would continue the mission and vision He had established; these disciples would set a foundation on which the Church would grow. And Paul empowers Titus to be a leader, Titus 1:5 says, “I left you on the island of Crete so you could complete our work there and appoint elders in each town as I instructed you.” He then describes what these elders should be like. Similarly, Paul tells Timothy to find “faithful men and women who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim 2:2). Jesus and Paul have something in common when it comes to leadership. They recognize the potential to affect people multiplies when they inspire others to follow a vision that transforms them and then empowers them to live it out. Sure, Jesus could have gone out on His own to heal people, save the lost, resurrect the dead, and share the word of God. And Paul was probably a good enough communicator that his words would have lasting impact upon a significant amount of people. But the real juice to their ministry was the people, the volunteers, and followers who were willing to live out the vision and hope of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
‘There is a beauty when strong and diversely gifted people unite to serve the church. It’s a faint glimmer, a dim reflection of the triune God — coequal persons, distinct roles in creation and salvation, but always united in their delight for one another and all they accomplish together.’ -Dave Harvey
The impact we have as a ministry, as a church, as a body of believers is multiplied because of the volunteers who serve out of love for the Lord; who desire to make the Gospel known beyond the walls of the building. There is a joy in witnessing others catch hold of the vision and want to live out that vision. In Luke 10:1-20 Jesus enthusiastically sends out 72 disciples to “harvest the fields.” When the disciples return in verse 17, it says they were overflowing with joy, and Jesus ecstatically responds in verse 20, “But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.” There is a joy in serving alongside other people who have that same desire as you to further the mission. There is joy that God has uniquely gifted each individual with a skill, talent, or ability that can be used to propel the message of Christ forward. This unity as a body reflects the kingdom that God has laid before us. There is a joy in walking alongside and caring for one another. Recognizing that we grow best in community as we learn, lean, and laugh with one another. According to Jesus, it’s our love for one another, not our productivity and performance, that marks us out as distinct from the world (John 13:34–35).
A Labor of Love
As we Kick Off, we recognize the importance and value of our volunteers in furthering the mission and growing the body. We appreciate each of our leaders and volunteers at Covenant Grove. You are incredible! Whether it’s helping setup, leading a Life Group, serving food, helping with the next gen ministries, leading worship, or any number of other things; it’s important, and you are the real juice behind Covenant Grove. It’s a labor of love. Together, we are furthering the kingdom and transforming religious and irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Christ. So, THANKS for all you do!
‘God values both the ends and the means. He not only wants the mission to be accomplished, but God wants to see churches that flourish and last. Because humility remains an indispensable ingredient towards securing that future, God created shared leadership. Then He blesses our feeble and faltering attempts to faithfully practice it.’ – Dave Harvey