Thursday, January 17, 2013

Behind the Scenes

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. (Luke 16:10 NIV84)

Yesterday and today have been filled with what I would call "mundane tasks."  They're the kinds of tasks that no one really wants to do or enjoys doing, yet they need to be done.  A lot of mine have been computer-based projects that will allow us to take "next steps" in some of our electronic ministry.  The tasks I'm doing, however, are the computer equivalent of cleaning out your garage, basement, or attic.

Traci is working with someone right now literally cleaning and organizing stuff in children's ministry areas.  My son is cranking away on his school work.  Oh yeah, my big excitement for the day was fiddling with the thermostat in the cafe area to get the heat working again.  It's a bit temperamental.

I'm not sharing these things to complain.  I'm sharing them to give some insight into the reality of walking with God and leadership.  Often times we think of leadership as somehow being the "big moments" in life when the leaders speak to large crowds or feed the thousands.  Jesus understood, however, that leadership really took place behind the scenes - often times when no one was looking.

Then Jesus ordered him, "Don't tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them." Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:14-16 NIV84)

Just when the crowds got big - Jesus took off.  He didn't wait around to enjoy the "excitement" of the moment.  Instead, he often took off at that moment.  His ministry and leadership seem strange to us today unless we understand Christ-like leadership.  It's not about power.  It's not about position or politics.  Leadership is about walking with God and helping others get there.  Jesus got this.  There were times he spoke with large crowds, taught them, and even fed them.  Those times seemed to be more the exception rather than the rule.  Much of his time, it seems, was spend behind the scenes: alone with the Father or teaching those closest to Him.  Jesus did a lot of leading behind the scenes.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!" Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." (Mark 1:35-38 NIV84)

When I have days like this (when I'm doing things I know are important but really no one else knows about them), I've learned to look at it as "behind the scenes" leadership.  I'm doing the work necessary to build infrastructure, remove distractions, and empower others to walk together with God.  

How about you?  Do you work "behind the scenes" to empower one more?