If you would take a leadership role in the Kingdom of God, you will be needing fellow workers. You will not be able to, nor will you be asked, to do this alone.
The question will come up as to whom you can trust. You will have to decide the quality of the men and women with whom you are surrounded, particularly in determining your inner circle of leadership and responsibility.
Here are five people you can depend on no matter what is happening …
1. You can count on the person who comes in when everyone else goes out. He is courageous and faithful.
The Apostle Paul paid tribute to a friend named Onesiphorus: “When he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me.” Paul was in a Roman prison, in great need and deserted by almost everyone else. He was lonely, needy and trying very hard to be faithful in the most difficult of circumstances. He needed a friend.
Onesiphorus was his friend.
He said, “You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me,” (II Timothy 1:15) and again, “At my first defense (before Caesar), no one supported me, but all deserted me” (II Timothy 4:16).
Only Onesiphorus came.
Clearly, the other believers were afraid to run the risk of associating with a condemned prisoner. Some were embarrassed that their leader was ending his ministry so shamefully, which is why Paul urged Timothy, “Do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me, His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel … ” (II Timothy 1:8).
I want to be on Onesiphorus’ team. I want him on my team.
When you succeed big—win on American Idol, publish a best-seller, your number comes up in the lottery, you are promoted to the main office, you make all the news outlets as a hero—everyone is your friend.
When your reputation goes south—you are thrown in jail and suspicions abound, you declare bankruptcy and move in with your inlaws, your church fires you and you take a job selling used cars or insurance, or you become old and sickly and are forgotten—true friends are hard to come by.
When a denominational worker was rumored to be having a relationship with an employee in the same building to whom he was not married, he was suddenly terminated. The next time I planned to be in his city, I phoned, asking him to meet me for breakfast. He said, “You’re the only one. Not a single friend has called to check on me.” (He opened his heart and confided in me. Without going into details here, let me simply say that he decided I had passed the test and could be counted on as a true friend. I was honored.)