“You are to look for capable men among the people, men who fear God, men of integrity who hate dishonest gain. You are to set these men over them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” – Exodus 18:21 NIV
In this day and age, women are hungry to lead and serve within the body of Christ. The traditional Women’s Ministry model has left women wanting more and turning to other avenues to serve and lead out of their SHAPE (spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality and experiences). As the Women’s Minister at Saddleback Church, there is one thing I have heard loud and clear: Women are ready, willing and able to serve and lead well. They just need one thing—permission. They need the space and encouragement to use their gifts for God’s glory. At the same time, I have come to understand that to unleash this army of women, I cannot (nor do I want to) do it alone. In order to prevent burnout, ministry leaders must give away what they have been given to those men or women who have been called to join the battle. How does this happen effectively?
As simple as it sounds, ask the Father to help you give away components of the ministry that have been entrusted to you. If this does not come naturally to you at first, continue to ask God to change and work in you and he will honor your request. With practice, this will come naturally and you will want to give more and more of the ministry away. Ask God to bring the right women and men around you; people that are called to join you on the front lines. At Saddleback Church we believe that every member is a minister and we pray for and provide opportunities for the women and men in our church to serve.
Surround Yourself With “Bigger” Leaders Than Yourself
When you pray, ask God to bring people that are gifted greater than you in all areas of life and ministry. Watch the people he brings and you will witness how the body of Christ should truly function. Pastor Rick Warren always says, “We are better together,” and I have come to see this play out so many times and in so many situations. A secure leader understands his/her limitations and surrounds themselves with others who are gifted in different and “bigger” ways.
Encourage your leadership team to dream big and believe God for big things. As the leader, it is your job to point them toward the vision but allow them to own pieces of the mission. Encourage them. Pour into them. There is nothing like watching people take ownership of what they feel called to do for God’s Kingdom. The energy and passion they exude will draw others toward the ministry and the volunteers will multiply.
Just as Moses’ father-in-law advised Moses in Exodus 18 to create a team to help assist with judging the imperfections of the Israelites, so we as leaders need to develop and unleash those around us. God will honor your decision and you will be thrilled to see him work in all that he has entrusted you to do. We as leaders were never meant to do this alone and in order to prevent our own burn out and fatigue we need to be intentional about developing the leaders around us.
This article originally appeared here.