I love teaching. It’s just something I’m created to do; kind of the whole Chariot’s of Fire deal “When I
run teach I feel His presence.” (cue emotional music here). It’s one of my favorite parts of being a youth pastor. I love coming up with creative ways to communicate God’s truth, I love seeing a student “get it”, I love the challenge of making things clear, relevant, and substantial. I love all of it.
But as a leader, I know I am supposed to make disciples, and train up people in their gifts. This means I have to train other people to teach. It seems basic enough. But it is SO hard for me to do. I love teaching, and therefore, I value good teaching. I am always trying to improve, to learn how to communicate more clearly, more effectively to an audience. I read, I watch other teachers, I pray, I study hard….you get the picture. So, when it comes time to let someone else work out the kinks as a brand new teacher, I struggle. I really do.
It has nothing to do with them, it’s all me. As a leader, my identity can so easily get tied up in being a teacher. I quickly get my self-worth and encouragement from other’s feedback from my speaking. Understand, these are NOT good things. I’m just being honest about it. When someone else teaches, I worry about how it will impact my ministry, how the students will perceive it. When a student complains about the lesson “not being as good” as they are used to, I take it personally and it strikes a nerve inside of me. It makes me want to pull the trigger on the whole idea of training other teachers. “It’s not worth it”, I think to myself. (I know, I AM a jerk aren’t I?)
But then I remember, I’m stupid.
No really, I am.
I know that all of the “growth experts” and the “culture guru’s” and the “youth ministry experts” may have statistics, trends, and Twitter survey results. But the core question comes down to, “Am I obeying God?” No, seriously, it does. Am I being faithful to do the things I am supposed to do? Am I prayerfully picking people to invest in as teachers? Am I praying regularly for them, not just the day they have to teach? Do I really believe that it is the Spirit’s work in teaching to change lives, and not my/their talents? Am I providing them with resources, tools, training, encouragement, and feedback to help them grow? Do I want to see them become better teachers than I am? Do I …. hold up ….. what was that last one? Do I want them to be better teachers than me? Well duh! Of course not! Then who would I be, if I’m not the “best” teacher? Where would I fit in this? Why would I ever want them to succeed so wildly that they pass me up? That’s crazy!
Unless I remember that all of this isn’t about me, it’s about the Kingdom. It’s about Jesus’ truth and love conquering the world and changing lives. This is not “my kingdom come”; it’s “Your Kingdom come” (capital letters included). This is what we do. We invest in other leaders, in other teachers, in other artists, in other musicians, in other athletes, in other comedians, in other ….. well, in others. For the sake of the Kingdom. We want them to succeed past where we have succeeded, to use their gifts in service to the One who gave them. To honor Him in all they are. As leaders, we do this. We serve.
We become like Christ, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant…”
Where are you afraid to lead? I’m sure you’re great in many, many areas. What about the one’s you’re scared to let go of? Why? Whose kingdom are you building, anyway? Listen, if God can use you and me in any way at all, He can surely use them. Probably even better than He can use us. Set them free. Set yourself free. That role isn’t your identity.
You are a child of the King. Period. Forever. No fear needed.