By Alex Anderson, Senior Associate Pastor at Bayside Community Church –
Some years ago we had a young pastor who led our small groups ministry at Bayside. When T. J. first met our founder and lead pastor, Randy Bezet, Pastor Randy asked him, “What do you want to do with your life?”
T.J. responded, “I want your job.”
Pastor Randy replied, “Great, I’ll show you how to get it”.
Fast forward almost 10 years later, and T. J. is the founding pastor of Coastal Community Church in Coconut Creek, Florida, near Fort Lauderdale. Obviously Pastor Randy did not give his position of leadership at Bayside to T.J., but he did show him how to be the founding and lead pastor of his own church. In other words, he showed T.J. how to get his job, just in another church.
Permission To Fail
Not all leaders have the ability to mentor others. At Bayside Community Church, we call it, “giving leadership away.” Only a confident life-giving person can enthusiastically empower others to take their job. It’s so counter intuitive to a culture that teaches us to “look out for number one.” For someone to so enthusiastically help someone else to get ahead, even when sometimes it seems at their own expense…well it’s just not normal.
But life-giving people are not normal. We are to be like Christ, and give our lives for others. It’s called being a “second-mile Christ-follower” (Luke 6:29 NLT). Anyone can be a one-mile advocate. It’s easy when it doesn’t cost anything, right? Giving others permission to fail at our expense, well… that’s rare. The second-mile Christ-followers are actually not hard to find. They stand out in any organization, like my friend Steve.
Enjoy The Job
Many years ago, in my twenties, Steve was a vice president at a bank where I worked. On my first day on the job, Steve said, “Alex, there is nothing that you can mess up that I cannot fix. I want you to have fun and enjoy your job.” I cannot tell you how empowering that was. He took responsibility for my development, potentially at his own expense.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who…have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.” ~Henry Nouwen
Life-giving leaders will truly empower others at this level. These leaders are not as easily intimidated or fearful of the actions of the ones they are empowering because they are less consumed with themselves. They are as interested in the success of others as they are their own success. Those who have the courage to really do this create great leadership legacies that outlive them.
“I see my role as the chief talent officer of the company,” says Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald. “Leadership is the one factor that will ensure our success long after I am gone as CEO.” (The 40 Best Companies for Leadership 2012; Chiefexecutive.net)
How are you at giving leadership away? To who are you giving your job, your business, your church, or your life’s work? Will it die with you? I hope not.
Be Life Giving!
Alex Anderson is a Senior Associate Pastor at Bayside Community Church, Bradenton, Florida.
To read other life giving articles by Pastor Alex, go to http://belifegiving.blogspot.com/