When I was first given this topic, I will admit I was baffled. I’m a teenager–what could I possibly know about leadership, let alone how to be generous with it?? Maybe you’re thinking the same thing. If so, I’ll ask you the same question I asked myself – What is leadership, anyway??
Does it mean bossing a bunch of people around to get what you want? Hate to break it to you, but that would be a huge NO. So what is it, then? Let’s look:
John 13:12-15 says, “When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”
“Hold on a minute . . . To be a godly leader, I have to wash people’s feet???”
Not exactly. To be a leader is to put others first. We lead not by bossing but serving.
Now back to the topic at hand. What does it mean to be generous in leadership? This can mean more than one thing:
Leadership isn’t a one-person thing: Instead of taking on the responsibility of leading on your own, learn to delegate. Let’s pretend that you were just put in charge of a major school celebration. Do you really want to be the one who makes the invites, sends the invites, reserves the venue, decorates the venue, selects the music, chooses the menu, caters the food, etc., etc.?
Of course not! You’d be exhausted!
Moses could definitely relate. In Exodus 18, we read the story of his leadership-overload. It all starts when Moses leads the Jewish people out of Egypt into the wilderness. We’re talking about a whole race, so this is thousands upon thousands of people… and just one Moses. He had to lead them, and part of that leading was dealing with all of their problems. He was stressing out. I mean, I sure couldn’t deal with thousands of problems per day. I have plenty of my own! Back to Moses; he had no idea what to do, when his father-in-law came in and saved the day.
“What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God; when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.” Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone.” Jethro then taught Moses how to delegate, and to share the leadership responsibilities.
And the moral of the story is . . .? Don’t be afraid to seek out help when you need it! To be a great leader you do not have to prove that you can do everything on your own. As a matter of fact, asking for help shows that you are a wise leader, because you’re not afraid to do the right thing. It shows that you’re willing to humble yourself and do whatever it takes to lead people the right way, even if that means asking for assistance.
Teach the next generation of leaders:
So now you’re probably thinking, “Great story, but what does Moses have to do with me? I’m not a leader, I’m just a teenager.” I have also struggled with this question, but in our own unique way we are leaders! Being young adults, the younger generation looks up to us and follows our examples. They want to grow up to be just like us. We should be leading and teaching them to be kind and generous as future leaders and disciples of Christ!
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you . . .”
~ Matthew 28:19-20
There are some situations where you probably want to share your leadership role, but there is no one around that seems qualified. In this case, do not panic! Instead of just trying to do everything by yourself, grab a teaching opportunity! Bring someone alongside you and show them what leadership truly means. (Don’t forget it’s serving, not bossing. ) Be open and willing to share your knowledge of leadership. God isn’t teaching you leadership skills for you to keep it all to yourself and enjoy an “I’m the boss now” attitude. Be generous and help grow the next generation of great leaders.
I understand that it can be hard sometimes to share something this important, but in the end it will be worth it all. As a leader, you need to know what is best when it comes to leading—and that may mean sharing it. Just remember that generosity is vital to godly leadership.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
~ Hebrews 10:24-25