A short while back Pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong Church Sydney, Australia tweeted this statement: “Don’t deny a person who has faithfully served your vision; the right to pursue a grand vision themselves!”
What does that statement do to you? The truth – the emotion that this statement evokes reveals your heart and its motives.
Do you have kids? Are they young and still living at home? Are they grown and still living at home? Are you looking forward to the day when they are on their own, with families of their own? Do you hold your children back from chasing their dreams or do you try to guide them and prepare them for the world that awaits their contribution?
As parents we tend to nurture our kids the way we lead people. Do you have overgrown staff and leaders who should have left the “nest” long ago but you were too scared or selfish to let them go?
Let’s breakdown this statement into further examination:
“deny a person…” – to the person who has served in your vision and comes to you with a desire to step out into new ministry terrain, and you have the power to release or deny them. As their pastor or leader, they are coming to you for guidance, wisdom, and blessing. If you knowingly deny them the wisdom and blessing, you have betrayed their trust and stifled the vision of God in their life to serve your own needs. Is this being Kingdom-minded?
“…faithfully served YOUR vision.” – this same person has faithfully, loyally, wholeheartedly served your vision and they’ve sensed God’s hand sending them out, and to step out into other areas of ministry they haven’t experienced – what do you do? Hinder them under your authority or hoist them over your shoulders? As a pastor or leader, you have a responsibility to foster growth among your staff and leaders. Guess what happens when you do that — they grow! And some might leave and this is ok. Its healthy, its normal, and its necessary.
“…pursue a grand vision…” – while serving your vision they have captured one of their own, this is good. This vision may grow to be more influential than yours is, are you ok with this? Jesus told his disciples, “greater works than this shall you shall do.” Jesus created a model among his disciples to expect great things and to do greater things than what they saw Jesus do.
If we are going to hold people back from doing what God has called them to do then we are not fulfilling the command of “go into all the world and make disciples.” How can they go into all the world if we don’t let them leave the backyard. Eliminate the lid that stands between you and the limitless sky above and do great things – and release your people, your leaders, and your staff to do even greater things.
At the end of the day, this statement by Brian Houston will always bring you back to examine who’s Kingdom you’re building. God’s Kingdom or Your Kingdom!? How can you determine which Kingdom you’re building or a part of? The evidence is not how many people attend your church, or how many services or events you have or how many popular guest ministers you invite in. The evidence is and always will be how many disciples you develop and release to the nations! Developing people and releasing people is Kingdom business…nothing more, nothing less!
Do you go to a releasing church? Does your church have a culture of discipleship? If so, what do they do? How do they release your leaders?