When a leader can’t or won’t empower others he creates a barrier within the organization. If the barrier remains too long the staff or volunteers in the organization will give up and move on to another organization. Eventually the organization will become weaker and weaker.
“If you want to become a successful leader you must empower others.”
Theodore Roosevelt, one of the presidents of the United States and an successful general in the U.S. Army said: “The best executive is the one who is wise to choose people with ability to do what he needs to be done. He also does not interfere with them when they are doing the work he assigned them to do.”
The success of your organization does not depend on you doing all the work, but it depends on your choosing, training and releasing others to do the work.
In the Bible we see that Barnabas is an example of a leader who empowered others. One person he empowered was a man named Saul, who later became the Apostle Paul. Barnabas’ ministry was multiplied because he took a chance and empowered another person!
Barnabas did three things to empower Paul:
- He believed in Paul when no one else believed in him.
Barnabas supported Paul as a new Christian and believed in him when the senior leaders in the Jerusalem Church did not. Barnabas risked his reputation when he told the Jerusalem Church leaders they should befriend Paul and welcome him into fellowship as a brother.
To be a leader who empowers others you must take a chance with people. You must see the potential as a seed in them, believe in their potential and help them believe in themselves. When we do this we risk our reputation and ministry because sometimes the people we believe in fail. But it’s better to believe in someone and risk empowering them rather than to do everything yourself and not empower them.
When you empower someone and they succeed, your ministry is multiplied. Also, the person you empower will never forget you!
- Barnabas endorsed Paul as a leader to other leaders.
We read in Acts 9:27 that Barnabas brought Paul to the other apostles and recommended that they allow him to preach and teach in Jerusalem.
As you empower others and you see them bear some fruit, introduce them to other opportunities to grow, learn, serve and use their gift. It’s important to tell others of the new leader’s success and introduce them to other leaders.
- Barnabas empowered Paul to reach is potential.
In this story in the Bible we see that Paul began teaching and preaching in Jerusalem but the Jews hated him and wanted to kill him. The apostles sent him to the church in Antioch for his safety. In Antioch Paul continued to grow in his leadership and influence. Eventually when Barnabas was sent to Antioch to help the Antioch Church he looked for Paul and they worked together. This action by Barnabas allowed Paul to grow even more as a leader. Finally, Paul and Barnabas traveled together preaching the Gospel, making disciples, training leaders and planting churches. Eventually Barnabas humbled himself and allowed Paul to be the leader of the team.
To become a leader who empowers others you must not only believe in the leader who has potential, but you must give opportunities for them to gain experience as you mentor them.
To empower others involved energy, time and sometimes money. You must always be looking for potential leaders. Encourage them. Allow them to gain experience. Introduce them to others who can help them continue to grow. Give them opportunities to serve and lead as you mentor them. Release them to be a leader. The result of this is growth in the organization or church.
- Who has God brought to you to develop their ability and potential?
- Who are you training to take your place in your ministry?
- Who are you empowering?
- What skills or experience do you have to delegate to others?
- What is your plan to develop them?
- What can you do next week to allow your disciple to develop as a leader?
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