"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty;

not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some."
Charles Dickens

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My heart on empowering others

Reminder to self...

I am into empowering young people to serve God through leading others. I wonder if it's actually called empowering..

There is this term called "theological" safe-space where people in a group can talk about God freely without fear of being judged or considered idiots for asking something about God. Well, I consider me a "growing up as a leader" safe-space... Under my wings (so to speak!) one can do and try all sorts of different approaches in serving God whilst they grow in leadership. Why? Was Christ conventional?

All of us are different and yet are the same. Different cos of how we are made but same cos of our Maker. The part where we are the same ought not change, ie. no funny stuff, like weird doctrines, yada, yada... but the methods can be different. None of us came to know Christ in exactly the same way, nor do we talk about God in the same way although we all do share Christ with others..

So why empower? I'd use the analogy, teach someone to fish and you'll will feed him for life but give him the fish and you'll only feed him for a day...

I am into encouraging, coercing, preparing the way, opening up opportunities and leading people to fish for themselves. You'll be amazed at what can and will happen when people are empowered and can grow once they feel that they have that safe space to work with... Although I've only seen glimpses of it, it's already fueling me to move further!

Unfortunately, there are also those who think they've been abandoned and left to swim at the deep end... all they need to do is to stand up (aka just ask me la..)

Besides the above problem, making the choice to lead in this manner has left all sorts of issues in my arms, like running helter-skelter when things don't go as planned. It is stressful, and I admit that teaching people to fish does take a longer time to do (as opposed to catching the fish myself) but am still believing for the dividends in time to come (which I hope won't be in the form of a slap across the face!) It has also oftentimes left me looking somewhat incompetent and other times inefficient but again, I would remind myself of the end goal.

Another benefit of empowerment is to watch those "under" our care eventually surpass us and even teach us a thing or two! That's something which I expect and even hope for!

In our quest for excellence in ministry, we need to remember that we are in God's business of building people first and foremost. The ministry will inevitably follow. We are given a bunch of people (who initially can't fish) and we teach, we grow, we build, we love them into leadership and maturity. I hope to grow old with them because after all, they have become my friends...

And then, when I see the Lord, I hope that He will say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant!"

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