We all have opportunities to be a leader! We can be a leader at a board room table, a work place conference table, a dinner table, a picnic table or a playroom table for tea. We all have opportunities to influence others.
Step away for a moment from your daily routine and even from the fast-paced culture in which we live. Slow your mind and thoughts. Listen to a worship song to connect you to the Lord. Then read this scripture, Mark 10:42-45.
And Jesus called them to him and said to them, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
At first thought it seems up-side-down, even counter-intuitive, nothing like the life of a ruler or someone elevated to the high ranks of President, CEO or parent.
Yet, the scripture is clear.
By serving we add value to others!
I recently heard John Maxwell, a world renowned leadership expert; say to his eager audience of growing leaders, If I could ask for one thing in your life, I would ask that you become a person who is intentional about adding value to the people around you.
Let that soak in for a moment. Our culture, movies, television and media in general would portray a leader directly opposite. Yet Jesus tells us to let go of the ego, to humble ourselves, and serve. Here, Maxwell is using his influence to urge top leaders to add value to OTHERS!
What did Jesus ask? Luke 10:25-37 (Parable of the Good Samaritan) We are to show mercy to others. We are to show mercy on those who are culturally alienated. Remember, Grace is giving them what they don’t deserve. Mercy is not giving them what they do deserve. Jesus gives mercy and grace.
What does it mean to add value?
Adding value is shown in verbal and non-verbal ways! It can be as simple as a smile, a nod of the head, or a quick hug---to as complicated as an empathetic conversation with someone about their current situation or even helping someone find their place or role in our church or small group. Adding value can be an attitude or a deed.
Adding Value has to be intentional!
In John 13, Jesus illustrated adding value when he intentionally washed the disciple’s feet. The big idea here is to funnel our thoughts down to our behaviors!
If I’m to be intentional about adding value to people…how do I do that?
Maxwell gives four ways to add value to people:
1. You have to value people.
2. You have to value yourself.
3. You have to know and relate to what people value.
(Be a listener, then a learner, then a leader.)
4. You have to do the things that God values.
Grow our Church
To grow our church and win others to Christ, we must gain respect of those we aim to influence. Respect is the key that opens a relationship! In a relationship we have to LISTEN and really LISTEN. Then we can LEARN…LEARN what is important to them. You can learn where they are, so you can help them to the process of transformation. Soon you will lead them to the only one who can truly transform and give value to their lives…Jesus Christ!
So here is my challenge to you...
Are you adding value to others? It’s only through Christ’s love that we can show love to others. When we lay our head on our pillow at night, we have to ask ourselves, what did I do today to show value to people…to your family, your spouse, your kids, your neighbors. We don’t show value naturally. So, if you cannot remember doing something, then guess what, you unintentionally did NOT show value that day.
Sunday at Church
When we leave church on Sunday ask yourself, did I show value to someone today? Did I exceed their expectations? It can’t just be the responsibility of the host team—it’s expected from them. It has to be the culture of our church body. It has to be in our DNA. It starts wit us! We are all leaders in our church!
Great leaders must be great servants!
If we add value, we get respect. If we get respect we get relationship. If we get relationship we get commitment. We have to love all people as Jesus loved ALL! If we add value to people, they will be drawn to us and we grow the kingdom. If we add value to people we have shown them Christ. If we show value we have loved as Jesus loved! If we value what God values we have honored the Father.