by Rob Campbell
Who empowers others for ministry?
What is my role as a spiritual leader in this empowerment process?
First, Jesus is full of the Spirit of Godâ€“ His source for power. He empowers you for ministry through His Spirit. Next, Jesus desires to release His power to his followers. Finally, as a leader, I must follow the example of Jesus and be a conduit of Godâ€™s power in the lives of others to release them for ministry. Therefore, as a pastor (or a cell leader), God uses me to empower others for ministry. This reality has nothing to do with my own power, but Godâ€™s power through me as Jesus exemplified in His own earthly ministry.
We see this impartation of leadership ability throughout the scriptures. â€œThe Lord took some of the spirit that was upon Moses and put it upon the seventy elders, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it aloneâ€ (Numbers 11:17). As Moses prepared to relinquish his leadership role with the people of Israel, he said of Joshua (his successor), â€œTake Joshua, the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand upon him. Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey himâ€ (Numbers 27:18, 20). Be reminded of how David was selected by God to rule Israel. â€œThen Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forwardâ€ (I Samuel 16:33).
If you are still wrestling with your role in this process, then consider the following relationships of empowerment found in scriptures: King Artaxerxes and Nehemiah, Elijah and Elishah, Jesus and his twelve, Jesus and the seventy, Barnabas and Saul (Didnâ€™t the â€˜son of encouragementâ€™ partner with God in empowering this former murderer of Christians?), Paul and Silas, Barnabas and John Mark, Paul and Timothy.
There are many more examples, but letâ€™s focus in on you. Who partnered with God in empowering you to minister? Who believed in you? Who encouraged you? Who mentored you in your abilities, spiritual gifts and talents? Who took the time to listen to the dream that God put in your heart? Now, are you Godâ€™s conduit in empowering others? Or, are you all God needs in your field or area to do the work of ministry? How is God using you in empowering others for ministry?
Christian Schwarz writes, â€œLeaders of growing churches concentrate on empowering other Christians for ministry. They do not use lay workers as â€˜helpersâ€™ in attaining their own goals and fulfilling their own visions. Rather, they invert the pyramid of authority so that the leader assists Christians to attain the spiritual potential God has for them.â€
M. Scott Peck wrote in A World Waiting to be Born: â€œIncreasingly, the civil leader or manager begins to sense that the power of her position is not hers. It is not her possession; it is not hers to possess. The power belongs to God, and the proper role of the civil leader is merely to be a conduit and to steward that power as Godâ€™s agent. Merely! What a paradox! To exercise temporal power with civility is to undertake a role of great glory, and it can only be undertaken with genuine humility.â€ A spiritual leader saturated with the humility of Christ releases others for ministry so that Godâ€™s power may be extended.