Warning: the following devotional may RADICALLY change our water cooler conversations at work. So please, read at your own risk.
I am often asked by younger (and sometimes older) leaders what they should do when they feel like their boss is no longer delegating responsibilities to them, but rather dumping them in an effort to remain in charge and void of responsibility. It seems that nothing can frustrate a lower level leader more than when he or she has come to the realization that his or her boss or team leader has begun to take advantage of them.
Now more than ever before, one of the most common mistakes any leader can make when given the opportunity to lead or manage a new project or team, is confusing the art of delegating with the art of dumping. With this in mind, my response to this complex challenge is actually quite simple:
If you truly believe you have been called, gifted, and uniquely assigned to your place of employment or ministry…then the time has come for you to learn how to GROW IN THE DUMP.
My wife will attest to the fact that on any given day of the week, if asked, I probably will claim a different passage of scripture as my all-time favorite. Quite recently, I have two that are running neck and neck.
The First: Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. – John 12:24-26
And The Second: But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:42-45
In my opinion, one of the most unwanted, neglected and underutilized spiritual gifts within the Body of Christ today is the call to serve. Many of us, out of what I believe at times is a sincere desire to be recognized and rewarded for our various gifts and talents, have sadly embraced a ‘survival of the fittest’ attitude when it comes to serving within the workplace God has planted us in. Especially to those who lead and ‘rule’ over us.
Many of our attitudes (if I may speak plainly) just stink. From the unnecessary stomping of our feet down the hallway, to the magnetic pull of our ears to gossip, many of us as believers have forgotten that we are the living representation of Christ in the earth.
Our ability to get ‘lost’ in serving others, is the determining factor in ‘finding’ the kind of life God has designed for us all to live.
Now, for those of you reading this, who still have some reservations about serving your boss or team leader at your job with excellence, I’ll let you in on a little secret. (Shhhh…let’s just keep this between us two)
I am thoroughly convinced that we are living during a time when many of today’s leaders will delegate themselves right out of leadership. I encourage you to take the time to discover what burdens (if delegated or dumped upon you from another leader) you can adequately handle, and most importantly, are aligned with the kind of responsibilities you believe you should be leading in anyway.
While I do not believe in conquering giants without a reward, there are times when you can serve someone above you (who is not fit for the position they’re in) RIGHT OUT of that position. Or even better: you can acquire the skills (and experience) to apply elsewhere for that same position. That is why service is not something you are to avoid. But something you are to lean into.
This week, take your eyes off what’s coming down on you, and refocus yourself on what has the potential to come out of you. It’s time for many of us to grow in the dump. Now is the time to serve.
Scripture Of The Day: “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:43-45