Living as a multiplier of ourselves is challenging but also very rewarding. It’s in our human nature to feel secure if we feel indispensable and it’s natural to feel rewarded when someone says, “I don’t know what we’d do without you!” The problem is, if you were out of the picture and your area(s) of responsibility in life or service fall apart because there’s no one “in the gap,” then it could be an indicator that you need to develop others around you. Remember this leadership axiom: “Successful leaders develop successors.” In Acts 6, there was a ministry tension that developed because the Apostles were being stretched thin in daily responsibilities. As a result, they were not being as effective as they could be in their gifting. So to answer the need there were seven men chosen to serve. As a result of these new leaders being raised up, there was exponential growth that occurred in the early church. This was Kingdom of God fruit! Look at Luke’s record of this account:
“So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.” Acts 6:7
As was the case in Acts 6, it shows us how important it is to choose a person or persons, to develop and mentor. This means that we invest our time and energies in helping others reach their potential. Barnabas models this in the book of Acts. He was the person that was instrumental in going to Tarsus and finding Paul, after his salvation. The other believers were afraid of Paul, aka Saul, but Barnabas went and found him and brought him to Antioch, and involved him in ministry. (Acts 11:25-26) As you well know, the outcome of that investment by Barnabas proved to be world changing and have exponential outcomes.
Practicing this lifestyle of investing in others starts with gathering a team, or a few individuals, or maybe one person, that you will invest in. Your investment in one person could very well be the greatest contribution of your entire life. Remember, someone introduced Billy Graham to the Lord. Look at what that one investment yielded to the Kingdom of God.
As you develop others around you, ask God to empower you, and those around you, with the Holy Spirit. Then, use Jesus’ model for raising up successors. Jesus developed others by selecting them, modeling effective ministry before them, doing ministry with them, having them do ministry and watching them, and then ultimately, releasing them to do ministry in his absence. What a great model!
The greatest compliment you can be paid is for those you are raising up in ministry to excel beyond your abilities! Work yourself out of a job and God will always give you another one!