This was the main call for my fellow missionaries and I during our first meeting for the year. Realizing how excited we are to carry out our tasks and victoriously overcome the challenges in our responsibilities in the campuses and in the church (and of course to achieve our respective personal goals), it is also equally important that we reflect on what our hearts truly desire for this year. Why does our service matter? And, what is the heart behind our service?
No matter how good our actions are, at the end of the day, motivation matters. Our heart before God is of UTMOST importance− more than our actions and their results. The Bible says,
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” – Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
In these verses, we are reminded to serve, not to promote our own interest and reputation, but to serve the interests of others. Whether you consider yourself a leader or not, we are reminded to serve GOD and not man. How can I serve God by serving my teammates and leaders more? How can I be a blessing to God by being a blessing to my campus, my community, and my family?
If we find our hearts gearing towards focusing on our own interests and what we will gain in exchange of our “service” to God and others, it would not hurt to take a few steps back, to rethink and recalibrate our hearts with this Scripture and with Jesus. By overcoming pride and honestly assessing the motives behind our services, we become more like Jesus, our ultimate example of humility and genuine service. As we have more and more of Jesus in us, there becomes less and less of us each day as we continue to serve. Again our motives matters most to God than our actions.
For Christians, may we always be reminded to imitate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to serve the way he did – selflessly.
How do we lead the people entrusted to us? How do we work with them? As leaders, what should be our posture towards our team? What guiding principles can work on a general setting? As of writing, I am reading a new book entitled, “The Way of the Shepherd”, 7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Productive People by Dr. Kevin Leman and Bill Pentak.
The first chapter tackles the principle: “Know the condition of your flock.”
As leaders, managers, and overseers we can be preoccupied with the work but not with the workers. Yes, we need to get things done, but we should be reminded as well that people are tired of being treated like a number. They don’t want to be treated just as employees or volunteer but as individuals. It is our people who get things done. Our people is our greatest advantage.
And this will mean:
- Follow-up the status of your people as well as the status of the work.
- Getting to know them one at a time, their goals and dreams, motivations, career ambitions and frustrations, intentionally knowing what impacts them at the moment.
- Engaging them through the regular basis. This happens when we go out of our comfort zones and getting along with them, keeping eyes and ears open and asking plenty of questions.
- The most important is this – following them through, it means keeping up with them with what’s going on in their lives.
Above all else, this should come from a heart that really cares for people. Whether they are full time staff or committed volunteers, knowing the condition of your flocks matters.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
This chapter reminds me so much of Proverbs 27:23.
“Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds”
Leaders won’t be able to manage what they don’t know.
- What is the posture of my heart towards the people I lead?
- Do I compromise my people for the sake of the work?
- Am I intentionally getting to know them and going out of my way?
- Am I listening to them?
- Am I asking enough questions?
- Am I keeping up with what’s going on in their lives?
- Is my motivation really to care for them?
As we try to reflect and answer these questions, we need the grace of the Lord Jesus to be the leader He wants us to be. We need Him to change our hearts. We need Him to overflow in our hearts so that we can genuinely love and care for the people – His people.