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22 Critical Ministry Imperatives

20. Leadership requires recognition of and gratefulness for your team.

In just a few verses, Paul lists nine people who were instrumental in helping him build churches and preach the gospel. Paul recognized their faithful service to him as a leader, to the church, to living like Jesus and sharing His love. These thanks come right after Paul states his regret that Demas has abandoned him. For the couple of people who left him, Paul lists even more who are continuing their faithful work.

The faithful are the backbone of the local church. Recognize them and show your appreciation for their faithfulness in the small and great things.

Appreciation is an expression of gratitude, a thankful recognition of the quality, value or significance of a person or their work. Appreciation is doing everything in your power as a leader to indicate your approval of, acclaim for, praise of and appreciation for the contributions of every person on the team, especially within your scope of people.

Here are a few facts about appreciation that I hope will empower you to make a conscious effort to show appreciation for your team often.

Appreciation is best when it is specific thanks for specific things. Appreciation must be specific, timely, personal and real. Appreciation for a specific thing shows that you thought about the impact they are making.

Appreciation loves and respects the difficult person. It is easy to love your close-working friends who love and accept you. The real test is to love those who test you. Give them grace and remember that this is only one side of them.

Appreciation is an exercise in humility and selflessness. It shifts the focus from you and onto the team members who have done their job well. We as leaders are to elevate those around us.

Appreciation is a world of small phrases. “Wow!” “Please!” “Thank you!” “How did it go?” “Could you help me?” “What do you think?” “You make a difference.” You will be surprised how far those short words will go!

Today concludes our study on the leadership and ministry directives that the apostle Paul gave to Timothy that we are to follow if we are going to build effective lives and ministries. Here are two more imperatives from Paul to all leaders in every stage of life and leadership.

21. Leadership requires the ability to nurture deep relationships.

Peter Drucker, a great leader with insight in the management world, said: “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” Leaders need to think like spiritual investors. Invest in those beside you, those over you and those under you.

The relational depth in how you connect upward, downward and sideways will determine your depth of ministry.

22. Leadership requires guarding the divine deposit.

Paul writes to Timothy, “Guard what was committed to your trust” (1 Timothy 6:20). You the leader must guard what has been entrusted to you. You have a unique and specific place in history and in God’s plan for bringing the world into relationship with Him.

It is a sacred trust that you have been given. Grasp the profound assignment that is yours and run with it, knowing that along with the divine deposit, there is grace and help from the Holy Spirit to fulfill the complete purpose for which you were made!