Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Ask me to support a project or cause, I will most probably take on the task, look over the objectives, see what needs to be done and work until those objectives are met. But ask me to lead anything, I will politely but firmly say no. End of discussion.
I have always shied away from leadership positions. It is just not for me, I reason out. I work better behind the scenes. The spotlight terrifies me. I am not suited for the task at hand.
Those reasons are just self-doubt disguised as justification for my inaction to lead. I was hiding behind all these reasons because I don’t think I have what it takes to be a leader. I was giving out all these rational explanations when, in reality, I was just paralyzed by my fear of failure.
Last Monday, I was fortunate to attend the Leader’s meeting with Pastor Stuart Briscoe on Christian leadership. He gave the church’s leaders and prospective leaders three key points on Christian leadership: the unique aspects of Christian leadership versus secular leadership; practical considerations for Christian leaders in leading their small groups; and characteristics of a Christian leader. Out of all the three points, what really struck me was the leadership of Barnabas.
Barnabas and his work on the early church in Antioch is chronicled on the book of Acts. Under his leadership, the early church in Antioch prospered. It was even in Antioch that Christians were first called as such. Scripture describes Barnabas as a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith.
I quite expected to hear that Barnabas’ success in the ministry was because of his competence in his job. He was, after all, a Levite performing particular religious and political duties for the Israelites. But Scripture did not focus on his competence; it focused on his character.
Christian leadership is not anchored on what we can do; it is anchored on what God can do through us. I have been so focused on what I cannot do that I have lost focus on what is important – Jesus Himself. I have been so preoccupied with my feelings of inadequacy that I forgot that it is never about me in the first place. I was being proud because all I was seeing was my lack. I was not seeing Jesus.
Jesus may not be calling me to be a master evangelist or master anything for that matter He, however, called me to be His follower. And as a follower, all I really need to do is be available for what He is commanding me to do: to make disciples of all nations. It might seem to be a daunting task but I don’t really need to worry about the outcome. I just have to trust and obey Him.
I am learning to prayerfully ask God how He can use the little that I have for His Kingdom’s work. And I am learning to stop asking, “Can I do this?” but instead declare, “I will remain in Jesus because apart from Him, I can do nothing.”
It is about time I keep my eyes off myself and fix them on Him.
is the Retail Marketing Officer of OMF Literature, Inc. She’s a cat lady in the making whose passions include social justice, good books, tea, backpacking and board games. Oh and music too.