Enjoying the Journey
For nearly two decades I had the joy of serving on the staff of a wonderful church and college. After the first few years I had the responsibility of not only being a staff member but also having staff who answered to me. I told someone recently that I learned more about serving on a staff after having the opportunity of supervising others!
I truly tried to be a help to the man I served under but I am sure in my youth I made a host of mistakes. Thank God for patient leaders! Now, as an evangelist, I have the privilege of spending time with staff members in many churches.
Just last week I enjoyed a lunch meeting with a wonderful pastoral staff. Again and again it has been my privilege to share practical truths that I learned serving in a ministry. Permit me to share one. The most important one.
So many are known for their natural talent, their organizational ability, or the skills they have developed. While all of these can be blessed of the Lord, they can also be a curse. Men often fail in the area of their strengths. All of these can become substitutes for spiritual power and none of them can bring long-term blessing.
SO what is the most important characteristic of a staff member?
A person’s spirit sets them apart. This is seen in the life of Daniel as he served in the administration of Babylon. In less than desirable circumstances, under a less than perfect leader, he served God with a spirit different from others. Daniel 6:3 records, “Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.”
A full study of Daniel will reveal that his time alone with God in prayer and the filling of the Holy Spirit were the hidden secret of such open favor. It was his spirit. It was the Spirit of God in him.
I was speaking in a wonderful church and noticed the spirit of a particular staff member. It was not his abilities, though he obviously worked hard. It was his spirit. He exuded real joy in his work. He encouraged everyone around him. And, no, he was not a new staff member still living in the “honeymoon” of it all. He has been in his position for years.
When I asked the pastor about him, both the pastor and his wife testified that this man was like this all the time. It was real and it was refreshing. It reminded me again that the most important work is the work you do on yourself. Everything else grows out of that.
Yes, work on your knowledge. Work on your work ethic. Work on your organization. Work on your area of ministry. But begin by working on your spirit!
A joyful, willing, humble attitude is contagious. So is a scornful, stubborn, and selfish one. One staff member can affect the entire staff – the entire church! Seek to be the most helpful staff member you can be. Ask God to help you have “an excellent spirit.” It will set you apart.