Dan Reiland is the executive pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. This article was originally published on Reiland’s blog, Developing Church Leaders. We thank him for permission to rerun it.
Why is leadership rewarding?
The Bible says that leadership is a worthy desire, it’s an admirable pursuit. Leadership is a valuable investment of one’s time.
“Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer [leader] desires a noble task.” I Timothy 3:1
I love the way The Message says it.
“If anyone wants to provide leadership in the church, good!” I Timothy 3:1
Called, committed and gifted leaders are an essential part of every local church. Your church depends on both volunteer and full-time vocational ministry leaders!
Next to the favor of God, everything rises and falls on leadership.
If you are already leading, thank you, and keep going! I pray God continues to work through you in such a way that results in life change.
If you are considering leadership in your church, I encourage you to go for it. You have influence. Whether your influence is small or large, you can use it for eternal impact. Perhaps you might lead a small group, or lead in student or children’s ministry. Regardless of the actual ministry, you can make a difference.
There are tough days in leadership. There are difficult decisions to make, and investing in others requires time and energy. But the rewards are worth it. In fact, the rewards of leadership far outweigh the price tag of leadership.
4 Great Rewards:
1) Partnership with the Creator
I think it’s amazing that I get to literally, partner with God. And I’m quite certain I got the better end of the deal in this partnership. The very creator of the universe partners with me, and you, as we lead His Church. This helps us think bigger and more eternally focused than we would on our own.
This partnership provides grace when you make a mistake. You can learn and keep going. This partnership provides wise counsel. God’s wisdom is infinitely greater than any wisdom you or I might have on our own.
2) A legacy of life change
Whether God uses you to change one life, ten, or thousands isn’t the main point, because even one person matters enough to merit your leadership. Of course we all want to have the greatest impact possible, but I’ve learned over the years that it’s our job to make ourselves available, it’s up to God to determine the size of our impact. It’s our job to say “Yes, send me.” God adds His favor to the mix as He chooses.
Legacy brings definition and clarity to the measurement of leadership. You won’t be remembered for your brilliant strategy, amazing meetings, and wise decisions, even though all those things are important and necessary, the legacy of your story is carried by the people whose lives you’ve touched for the good. There is just no greater reward.
3) The privilege of serving with other leaders
Leadership is not a lone ranger endeavor. The very nature of leading involves other people and other leaders in particular. It serves no great purpose to lead as an isolated individual attempting to accomplish your personal dreams.
I’m very fortunate to have worked with many of the finest, smartest, and most gifted people I’ve met in any arena. I’m inspired, humbled and honored to serve with the leaders I work with at 12Stone Church and our related partners. They complement my strengths and buttress my weaknesses. Simply put, they make me better.
4) A life of purpose resulting in joy and meaning
No one wants a random, wandering, meaningless life. We are all created on purpose for a purpose.
A life of inner joy and meaning are the rewards of leadership. That doesn’t mean every day is fun and easy, it means that deep down inside you know that what you do makes a difference. There may be seasons where you work long and hard, and results are thin, but you still know what you do matters.
Local church leadership is truly rewarding. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and find these four rewards clearly evident in your life.