One of these days you’re going to be gone! Kind of a morbid way to start off isn’t it? However, it is so true. One of these days you and I are going to be gone. 100 years from now what matters this moment may or may not matter then. One of these days you will no longer be the leader of the organization, business, ministry, etc. that you are leading. Parents, as much as we would like to keep our kids under our wing forever….they grow up! It’s imperative we teach them to make decisions and function as Christ-honoring responsible adults in this world who raise up other responsible adults after them.
What will matter 100 years from now? Jesus started his earthly ministry with his exit strategy at the forefront of his mind. As soon as He began his earthly ministry he recruited 12 men to walk alongside of him day in and day out, 11 of whom would continue what He started after His ascension to heaven. He taught them how to pray, how to teach, how to minister to the hurting, and how to build His Kingdom. Those of us who know Christ are the lasting fruit of what He started with them and they continued after He was gone. If we can learn anything from Jesus it’s that discipleship, mentorship, development, or your exit strategy is key. So, who are you raising up to do what you do, and do it even better after you’re gone?
LET GO OF YOUR INSECURITIES
The most effective leaders are able to surround themselves with other sharp leaders and share the proverbial limelight with them. Poor leaders cannot stand being made to look inferior to someone else. They crave the appreciation and applause of others. Before you mentor or develop someone else you must give your insecurities to Christ. You must find your identity and value in the gospel. His love is enough, and He made you to be you, not someone else. You must be able to celebrate the wins of others to be an effective leader. Here’s a little news flash, your job is not about you! It’s about others! It’s about working together to achieve a common goal. It’s not about propping up your ego or pandering to your preferences. Jesus said, “the greatest among you will be your servant.” The greatest way you serve others is to help them become all God wants them to be.
Parents, before you can raise up a David, a Joshua, a Moses, or a Daniel for God you must be willing to let go of your fears. Pray over them, teach them God’s Word, then empower them to make godly decisions as they grow. One of the greatest problems amongst some millennials today is mom and dad have insulated them, sheltered them, from everything. They have no idea how to make decisions and function as responsible adults because they’ve had everything done for them. Add to that the inability to build real relationships due to the prominence of social media and we have a major problem on our hands. Parents, let’s flip the script! Give em’ Jesus then get out of the way a little bit and let what you’ve taught them take over. Trust that God’s Word doesn’t return void and all the prayers you’ve prayed have been heard by a faithful God who will work in and through them.
THINK DECADES FROM NOW
That’s right. Think multiple decades from now. 20, 50, even 100 years from now is not too far. Now, with the daily exponential increase in technology we know it will look very different then than it does now, but when it comes to relationships and vision this is not far-fetched. What kind of organization, ministry, or business do you want to see 20 years from now? 50 years from today what will be the lasting fruit of the decisions you’re making now. 100 years from now will what you’re trying to accomplish even matter?
See, you can do certain things that will get your church’s numbers up now for a short period of time. You can make decisions today that will increase your profits immediately and make you look great to the shareholders. The problem is sometimes you sacrifice long-term health for short-term success. This is often the pattern of leaders who merely want to build their resume instead of the church, ministry, or organization they lead. This is sad, and by the way good leaders around you see right through that.
I challenge you to make decisions today that will matter 100 years from now. Make decisions with your kids and your spouse that will matter 100 years from now. Don’t live for the moment or live by impulse. Live intentionally for the long-term future. In your leadership, lead with the next generation in mind. What will matter when you’re either retired and gone or dead and gone? Today, think and pray hard about this, and start writing your exit strategy. Only what lasts for eternity is worth living for.