When I start thinking about myself, what I need to most focus on and what is most important, this one truth is always front and center.
When I start looking for staff (I oversee all the ministry staff hiring at The Bridge) and team members on the ministry teams I have led, this is the one truth I always return to.
There are a lot of great verses for leaders, but for me, one stands out above the rest. It isn’t to “watch your life and doctrine closely” or “set an example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.”
For me, the verse and biblical truth that reigns supreme for both my life personally and when I look in the lives of people who want to join my team is…
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
If there is one thing I have learned in leading myself and others is that I need a lot of grace, as much as I can possibly get.
Here are some reasons why:
- If I am going to make it long term in ministry, it will be because of the grace of God, not my skill or overall greatness (these will fail me horribly).
- For ministry to have an eternal impact, it will require God choosing to bless and pour out grace. The ministry of reconciliation requires God working, drawing non-christians to himself, and transforming lives by the power of his Holy Spirit. The real work of ministry can’t be done by the power of human intellect, will, and strategy. God gives grace to the humble, so I want my team filled with humble people (starting with me).
- I am going to make a lot of mistakes, it is inevitable. When they come I want to be surrounded by people who are humble before the Lord and others. With humble people, I can trust they will appropriately apply the grace I need.
- Humble people are freeing to be around. I want to enjoy and have fun with the people I serve God with. My best bet of that happening is having humble people all around me so there is no jockeying for power, gossip, people taking themselves too seriously, dishonoring one another, etc.
- Humble people know there must be a reliance and dependence on God. If alone, I will start thinking more highly of myself and become prone to do things in my own power. In a community full of humble people I will consistently be pointed to the Lord and be gently reminded of my need for Him.
There are a ton of things I look for in both staff and volunteers: leadership skills, personal godliness, if they’re a cultural fit, etc. But, none of these things come close to the value of humility in someone’s life.
All leaders desperately need the grace of God, whether they know it or not. Thankfully, God gives grace to the humble.