Pastor Gerardo Vargas, our South Baton Rouge campus pastor, recently had a conversation with leaders about empowering people and being a healthy and whole Christian. In this blog, we’ve taken his teaching notes and added a few of our own to share what it means to lead and empower others from a place of health and wholeness.
1 Timothy 3:4–5 ESV, emphasis added: “He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?”
● Well (kalōs)--beautifully, finely, excellently, well
● Dignity (semnotēs--characteristic of a person or a thing which is entitled to reverence or respect, dignity, gravity, majesty, sanctity)
As leaders who are empowering others, it is vital that we keep ourselves in check and make sure that we’re leading from a healthy place. Pastor Gerardo says, “If you try to do ministry without being healthy and whole in Jesus, ministry becomes your attempt at being healthy and whole on your own.” It is only after we root ourselves in the love of God and find our identity Him that we can truly begin to lead well. The fruits of being healthy and whole are revealed in those whom we’re leading.
When empowering others, we have to clearly articulate expectations and goals while delegating tasks. It’s better to over-communicate details than to under-communicate and leave expectations unclear. When we delegate responsibilities, it’s equally important to let go and trust that the job will be done rather than hold on to control. Empowerment without clarity or trust breeds unhealthy outcomes on both ends:
● We empower people through clarity and trust.
Clarity without trust produces fear and inaction.
Trust without clarity produces work without direction.
Confrontation is a word that many of us don’t like, especially when it comes to relationships with people that we love. We may hold back valuable feedback out of fear of hurting the other, but actually holding back this insight is really the thing hurting them more in the long run. Pastor Gerardo says, “One thing I've learned about your health and the health of others is that we need to have purposeful conversations about whatever needs improving. So, this requires a healthy, truthful, loving, and graceful confrontation. Some of us may be more comfortable with confrontation than others, but we all need to grow in this area for the betterment of every person in our church family.” Embrace confrontation and feedback and make it something that you value in your life and the lives of the people you’re leading.
Who Do You Need to Empower?
The focus of Bethany Church this year is empowerment. Our 2019 theme is “Next is Now”, a phrase that we use to talk about the urgency we should feel of investing in the next generation and whoever is in our lives that we can hand-off something to. We want to hand-off the mission and vision of Jesus and the values of the Kingdom. We want to live for those running behind us so that the gospel can go further into our communities and the world. Who are you doing life with that you can be investing in? What can you hand-off to them? We want to leave you with the challenge of being intentional about empowering others!