Please start with the first 7 posts in this series if you haven’t already. This is the final segment.
Cost 5: the cost of giving ministry away. As some point, the Lord will ask us to leave behind a place of ministry we have led. He may ask us to serve differently, or He may call us home to eternity. The question is, what do we leave behind? We must ask the question now: have I invested well so that God’s work continues even after I am no longer around?
Our job it to obey and serve the best we can, then step away when He directs us to do so. We can trust Him with what we leave behind, knowing He cares more about it than we do anyway. Remember cost #1? The cost of giving up MY ministry, because it’s not mine? It’s His alone.
When I left a church staff position to go to LifeWay, I watched God bring the perfect person to take my place. A team of women had laid groundwork for what God would use this woman to do next. Therefore, when I left LifeWay to retire, I knew He would do that same thing. I could let go because not only had He directed my time of retirement, He also cared more about this LifeWay ministry for women than I did.
In both situations I felt as though I had birthed a baby of sorts, as these were new ministries when they began and I had the privilege to lead them. In both situations, I had watched how His next step was exactly what He ordained so I could rest in His leadership and wisdom and step into a new way of serving both times.
Nicki Koriaz said: Run hard, stay in your lane, pass the baton.
This is a great way to look at how we lead and hand off ministry to those coming behind.
Paul says in several places to “follow me as I follow Christ.” Read 1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 Corinthians 4:16, Philippians 3:17, and even 2 Timothy 2:2. We should say the same thing, not because we lead perfectly, but as we follow Christ, we are all to take others with us on that journey of growth and leadership development.
Hebrews 13:7 tell us to follow leaders who have invested faithfully in our lives. What does a faithful leader look like? Women who are imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1) because they are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:11). Let this be us who say, “follow me, imitate me AS I follow Christ”, not perfectly, but faithfully growing in Him, regarding any cost is worth every gain the Lord allows us as we obey Him.
There is a cost to serving and leading for Christ. I’ve only mentioned 5 main categories, but every single cost gives us eternal dividends! We may not get to see many of these this side of heaven, but God sees them all.
Leadership costs us something, but gives us something so much more, a deeper relationship with Christ.