When a general does not know that without communication an army is ruined, then his ignorance is great and injurious. Communication and transparency are very vital. The silent and the independent have failed.
Everybody has time for what he wants. What a man does is what he wants. What a man does is expressive of his heart. It is the heart and not the kind of personality that matters.
Relating to people does not depend on the type of personality one has. Rather, it depends on what type of heart one has. The limitations are of the heart and not of the personality. Everyone, by personal evaluation, does what he must do. A man’s heart is what he is making it into and what he has already made it into.
Relational distances are not geographical; they are always spiritual. When a man becomes a leader, he must not give himself a holiday as far as spiritual progress is concerned. A tragic observation is that, when men become leaders, they stop making progress. Rather, becoming a leader is the beginning of spiritual progress. A leader must always be growing and he must keep on rebuking, challenging and encouraging those under him to grow.
A leader is a man who never stops or retards his growth and never allows others to stop or retard their growth. No leader fears a genuine growth-challenge from any member of his team.
Some Leadership Dispositions
Coming back to the matter of teams, we insist that it is a man’s team that determines the nature of his work. Ministry is connections (relationships).
We also have to confront the fact that being in a certain place at a certain time could mean being out of usefulness and out of God’s will. The place could dwindle a man. Ministry may and should determine where a man settles.
The missionaries must bear this in mind. You cannot go and stay in a suburb, wanting to take a big town. Even the house that you rent is very determinant. The ministry determines the quality and size of the house. A missionary should settle close to his vital contacts.
A pastor cannot be itinerant. If he is, he has failed. It could be allowed that a teacher be itinerant, as well as a prophet and others. When the work begins to emerge and increase, there will be need for a local pastor. You cannot control the work in other cities and nations while remaining the main pastor of the local church. The test of a man’s heart is when he has to handle a growing church and delegate his authority to others in the local church.
The enemy exploits a situation where there is a vacuum in authority, especially in the absence of the main leader. The person delegated with authority must be accepted and respected by the people. It must not always be someone whom the main leader loves or prefers. John was the disciple whom Jesus loved, but the appointment of the leader of the church fell on Peter. Someone may be very loyal to you, but not competent enough to lead the work. John could not lead the team while Peter was there. We ought to learn this: Have the right person in the right place. You cannot dissociate leadership from the matter of having a following. If there is confusion about who to choose or who not to choose because of gifts and talents, we should consult and seek counsel. If the right person is not appointed for whatever reason, his leadership will only cause confusion. It were better that the right but unappointed person should leave the place. If not, conflict will inevitably come in.
A provincial leader should have the capacity to see churches, as well as other capacities, gifts and talents. These things were settled right from the foundations of the world and people are appointed by God for specific assignments. We cannot just mix people anyhow.
A prophet must, first of all, have a prophet’s personality; a pastor, a pastor’s personality and so on. The personality is crucial. God gave us all that we have, so that we would use all to accomplish His work. We were formed and given our personalities, our talents and our gifts according to what God had reserved for us.
The work of a provincial leader is actually that of church planting and this means that a job that holds him down in one place is out of place. He may need to resign.
The Wife As A Team Member
The first mark of a team member is that he or she does not oppose the team leader in any way. To disagree and to oppose are two different things. Opposition talks of conflict while disagreement is only a matter of opinions. Failure does not constitute an opposition; but grumbling, moods and complaining are marks of opposition. A woman who prays for her husband one hour a day is not in his team. At one hour, the woman is praying for herself. She will be a curse if she does not pray for an additional one hour each day for her husband.
The wife’s membership in the team must be outstanding. There should be what cannot be explained simply by her being a wife. Being in a team demands total involvement. It demands her whole life and investment. Might constitute a part of this matter. It is sweat, labour, sleeplessness, anguish, risk, sacrifice, a life scarred because of the person and his cause. If a woman is not this, she is not a team member. Let her not be deceived!
The question is, “What has it cost her? What has it cost you? What is it costing her?” If she has loyalty without might, then there is no team membership. To find a woman who is loyal and totally involved in her husband’s ministry is as rare as finding a jewel. It is a rare thing to find a loyal and cooperative wife in a man’s ministry. The team leader’s wife should have the capacity to follow the man without questioning. She must leave the leadership totally in the hands of the man. It is terrible when there are two captains on the same ship. Should the ship sink, who would then take the responsibility? My wife Prisca has allowed me to lead without opposition. The sisters should learn this from her. A wife should believe the man to the extent of leaving things in his hands.
Trust is Merited
Before Prisca left things in my hands, I had proved trustworthy. A man must have what it takes to be believed. There are securities which a man must guarantee, if not, he should not expect to be blindly followed. The problem with many brothers is that they are stingy and some are even wicked. A man is to pay bills, if he does not, he is not a man. He should provide for the household needs. In the mission field, the money must be handled in such a way that the next money comes before the current money gets finished.
A stingy man is not a man, and a man who neglects his wife’s family is not a man. He is a crook! He should not lead alone or be allowed to lead alone. It is also dangerous to leave a man who is not transparent to lead alone. The man must win his wife’s confidence so that she can relax about the finances. When we say that the man should be allowed to lead, we assume that the man is a true and just leader, and true to his word.
What I do is that from some savings, I give the food money one month in advance. This is such that should salaries delay, food money will always be available. Some men do not also believe their wives enough to give them all the food money, they give it in bits. This too is bad. The man should give her all the money and let her manage it, even if she fails, she will learn. He should help her to learn but not withdraw the money from her. Let her be responsible and rise to responsibility. Do not take away the woman’s responsibility from her. It will make her feel useless and she cannot give her all and be at rest with you, her husband.
Confidence in a man is to be earned. A man should continue to give the food money even if his wife is not accountable for the previous month. Let the food be there for the current month. Accountability is supposed to advance a home, not to create problems. The husband must also give money to his wife for the unforeseen. In addition to this, a man’s monthly budget must include the children. What makes a man of God is not long and nicely constructed prayers, long fasts, many short fasts, Bible reading and so on. The test of a man is that he can provide for his family, and his family begins with his wife.
For a man to save money when there is a bleeding need in the family is deep love of money. It is even wickedness. A man of God is a man of character. Again, a man of God is a man of Christian character. It is deep-seated folly to have a broken home and dream of carrying on with ministry that satisfy God’s heart. Shameful to say, the problem in many homes is the husband. They have not been loving and caring. This is tragic failure. A man is never to withhold his family responsibilities as punishment or discipline meted on a woman. You do not punish unfaithfulness by unfaithfulness in your own duties and responsibilities. It is deeply ungodly to starve a woman as a means of discipline.