It is extremely important that church leaders empower the people within the church to use their gifts. In order to do this, the church leaders have to model what they want other to do. The church leaders must use their gifts, and they must be secure and confident in their positions as leaders. Time after time we see how the church benefits from good leaders who are secure, confident and willing to empower others. We have also seen the consequences of the leader that is insecure and unwilling to empower others.
A young man was called to a thriving church in suburbs of Chicago. The church had strong and wise leaders. Because of his youth, the new pastor was not secure in his position and he was intimidated by some of the older leaders. Rather than learn from the older leaders and seek wise counsel the new pastor sought to control all aspects of church life. The pastor made some bad decisions that did damage to the church. The Bible shows us the cost of not seeking wise counsel. In 1 Kings 12:1-24 we see that Solomon’s son Rehoboam is preparing to take the throne. Some of the people come to him and ask him to lighten the burden that had been placed on them by his father. Rehoboam consults the elders and the young men he grew up with. The elders give wise counsel. They tell him to lighten the burden on the people. His friends tell him to increase the burden on the people. He listens to his friends and the kingdom is divided. 12 tribes leave Rehoboam to form the Northern kingdom of Israel. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained with Rehoboam and formed the kingdom of Judah. No leader can know or do it all. It is important to seek and listen to wise counsel.
A leader also needs to know their strengths and weaknesses. This will allow them to know how they can directly help the church. Leaders must understand that no matter how gifted they are they cannot do it all. Leaders are not leaders if they have no followers, therefore the leaders must empower others, they have to be willing to give up some power so that the church can grow. God has given all of us different gifts. It is the responsibility of good leaders to identify the gifts of others and encourage them to use them.
Lets take another look at the new pastor. He could have done two simple things to save himself some heartache and pain. First, rather than attempt to gain total control. He could have sought and listened to the wise counsel of the elders. Second, he could have taken to get to know the people in the congregation. He could have found out what their gifts and passion were and tried to find ways to develop and use them because he was intimidated by people who were older, wiser, and more experienced than him, he tried to establish the fact that he was in charge. If God calls you to lead you don’t have to prove you are in charge because you are not God is. As a leader, God will surround you with people who have the skill to help you to lead. Seek counsel from the people that God puts into your life. Allow other to blossom and shine as you help them to develop their gifts.