Why do I feel called to lead?
Ever since I was a little girl I always wanted to help people (I know God put that desire within me even when I was little). I never wanted to be the star or center of attention, more like a lovely wallpaper. Perhaps I just disqualified myself from leadership, because I believed the lies that I was “too quiet,” “too shy,” and “not confident enough.” My teenage pregnancy only magnified the lie that I was not confident enough to be of any “good” influence or encouragement to anyone in my adult life. When I began learning, in depth, the magnitude of God’s grace and love for me, when I began denouncing the lies I’d always believed, and embracing this better version of myself, this version God had always longed for me to discover (even as a little girl), I knew that I did not have to accomplish my heart’s desire of helping, leading, or being an example to others all on my own. On my own I am not enough; with God directing, shaping, molding, and guiding my living, He is more than enough for me, and more than enough to use me to reach others. I am not to learn and discover His wonder, glory, and love just to keep it to myself, nor do I want to. He is far too magnificent to contain all of his greatness within my own heart and mind. There are far too many hurting people to sit idly, withholding from them a joy, peace, and love like they’ve never known. On a daily basis, thinking of one hurting person or 20, whether they’re 6 years old or 56, my heart intensely pulses, feeling like it might explode with desire, for them to know who they could be — who He has specifically created them to be. I don’t care whether I am to be the knee cap, pinky toe, or the gallbladder of the body of Christ, but to live in a way of leadership wherever and however He has called me to, I will do with excellence, character, and love.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Romans 12:4-8 (NLT)
Why am I called to serve?
The Hebrew word for serve, (because I’m a word nerd) is avad (ah-vod). This word in Hebrew also means to cultivate. If I am called to lead, to share with others all that God is capable of doing in their lives, then I am called to serve them in such a way that they begin to see their own true value, that can only come from a God so loving, because this is serving Him. I am called to serve because they deserve to feel the worth that comes from a living example of Jesus on this earth — to experience a taste of how much He loves them. Jesus went around healing people, washing their feet, and this was not so He could feel good about himself (He’s the son of God! He obviously was really great!), but he wanted to show them love. He cultivated confidence and value in those he encountered, because he served them with this great love, this great love that showed its magnitude ultimately through death. Such an act of sacrifice was the greatest, and I am called to do all I can to express this sacrifice to others, even if it only skims the surface in comparison, so that they may come to know the greatest lover Himself. There is a joy that accompanies serving my Jesus through serving others. I love to watch people morph right before my eyes, into this changed, better version of their self, upon experiencing the salvation, grace, and love of Jesus. Through a single act of serving another, whether it’s being a listening ear or helping wash their dishes that have been piling up for days, the joy that comes to them because they feel valued, is enough, because I am serving for Jesus. And should those acts go unnoticed by humans, they are not for not. They are still a form of worshipping my savior, and He has surely done plenty by giving me life, to deserve the service, anyway. I am making one more baby step toward completing His design for my life — to serve Him, to echo His love, because He died for me in the name of the most awesome love!
Some of my favorite verses about leadership and serving:
Romans 12:4-8 (from above)
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the master you are serving is Christ. Colossians 3:23-24 (NLT)
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.
You know that Stephanas and his household were the first of the harvest of believers in Greece, and they are spending their lives in service to God’s people. I urge you, dear bothers and sisters, to submit your lives to them and others like them who serve with such devotion. 1 Corinthians 16:13-16 (NLT)
Don’t lord it over people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.
In the same way, you younger men must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for
“God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:3-7 (NLT)