“The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, HCSB)
Full of grace and truth. What is more discouraging or distasteful than an angry, crabby, demeaning person? You may have had a boss like that, a parent, or been in a relationship with someone who’s like that. The bottom line in any such relationship is this: You can’t wait to get away from them! Toxic people are taboo in our lives.
The same is true in ministry. We cannot lift people into all the fullness God has for them if they do not want to be with us. Churches across the land are empty – not because of the Jesus they talk about but because of who those people are. Many of those people all too often simply fail to experience and express the grace and truth that Jesus fills His people with when they are in right relationship to God.
Grace gives people what they don’t deserve. We’ve talked about making a list of those you influence – your “Goers” list. Now, think through each person on your list slowly. Then, answer the question, “What can I give Joe that he doesn’t deserve?”Or, perhaps you might ask God, “If I were to give Carol what she doesn’t deserve, Lord, what would that be?” Make a note of His prompts to you and make it so this week. Then, repeat this with each person under your influence each week. You’ll be amazed at what God does with your ministry!
Truth can be harsh. Reality hurts sometimes. This is why grace is essential. When delivering truth, be sure you have the heart of the one you wish to influence in mind. How will they hear that you are about to say? Reception of the message is much about our delivery to them. Choosing our words carefully for maximum response is our responsibility. How we share truth that will determine if our leadership expands or shrinks in their lives. It will also determine the overall size of our future ministry.
Grace and truth are the dynamic duo of deeper effectiveness. We cannot move a person forward into all God has for them if they won’t accept His directions as the ultimate truth. Embracing those all-too-often cataclysmic changes requires we share great amounts of grace.
Willing Worker Wednesdays are dedicated to explaining the core realities of servant leadership – the Biblical principles and methods used by God’s faithful people throughout time. They further reflect the lifestyle of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords as He walked on this earth announcing the Kingdom of God had arrived. These brief lessons are written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and come from his extensive ministry within the local church, in higher education, in church consulting and as a Biblical author and leader.