According to Webster’s Dictionary the definition of content (adjective) is “satisfied with what one is or has, not wanting more or anything else.”[ref]Def. 2. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. 10th ed. 2000. Print.[/ref] In order to find contentment as a leader, one must know their strengths and weaknesses. Being an effective Christian leader means being content with the authority given. It means not rushing to run your own game plan without consulting others. Most of all, it means keeping the Main One the Main One.
Contentment as a Leadership Essential
Christians are re-created by the Almighty to lead, so humility should be in the picture. With qualities of leadership shown in their conversations and activities, they are the ones someone will call on for help. The leader will want to lower themselves instead of elevating themselves and will consider those who are also above them in authority. [ref]Amber Riggs, 10 Qualities of Influential Leaders. (ArtiosMagazine.org, 2017)[/ref] Leading may come natural to an individual and they may not see it as a gift or talent. Seeking God’s direction in their calling, they can handle their tasks because they know their strengths and limits. While another position may look enticing, a good leader is content with the responsibilities and duties assigned to them.A good leader is content with the responsibilities and duties assigned to them. - Esther Winchell Click To Tweet
Leading through DelegationThe Christian leader is content to work with others, developing a team. - Esther Winchell Click To Tweet
The Christian leader does not want to handle the responsibilities alone. Instead, he or she learns to delegate to individuals that have the gifts that will enhance the ministry. They are content to work with others, developing a team.
In Next Generation Leader, Andy Stanley writes,
“It was time to delegate both responsibility and authority so they could continue doing the two things they were best equipped to do: teach and pray.”[ref]Andy Stanley, Next Generation Leader, (Oregon, USA: Multnomah Publishers, 2003), 31.[/ref]
He and his team knew their strengths.
Acts 6:1-4 (NIV) reads:
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So, the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
Peter knew he was meant to lead, but he also knew he needed help. This was not a job insecurity because Peter knew what he was called to do: teach and pray. Why stretch himself thin, along with the other disciples, when they could assign others to help? They wanted to do what they did best and were content in that position.
Contentment and Teamwork
Being content also means that one does not have all the answers. Therefore, the leader needs to consult others. They are secure in their position to lead, but that does not make them geniuses. Listening to other’s opinions and plans should give the leader contentment knowing that others want to see the ministry succeed. Giving others an opportunity to use their ideas and gifts will also give them ownership in the ministry. A leader’s good plans may become better plans because others have been allowed to voice their opinions and thoughts. It becomes teamwork and not a solo-act ministry.
A Content Leader Knows His/Her Strengths and Weaknesses
Leaders are confident in knowing why they have been placed where they are. The leader who uses his or her strengths continues to develop them the more he or she uses them. The leader is content in admitting his/her weaknesses.
Moses had Aaron, Paul had Silas and Barnabas, and Jesus had the Twelve, but the most important thing to remember is they all had God! Remember to keep focused on God and all will fall into place.
“As long as you look to others, to achievement, or to anything but God to fill the void, the hunger will be your master, fueling your drivenness or discontentment.”[ref]Reggie McNeal, A Work of Heart, (San Francisco, USA: Jossy-Bass, 2011), 13.[/ref]
Being a content Christian leader means exerting your gifts, delegating to others to develop their strengths, and all remaining focused on the ministry together. Do not try to do it alone!
Be content where you lead!Be content where you lead! - Esther Winchell Click To Tweet
Even as Jesus-followers, unfortunately it is common to struggle with discontentment. Thankfully, when we submit to the Lord and seek Him diligently He reveals to us where and how He wants to use us for His glory. And when we obey the calling He reveals to us, we discover contentment. If you struggle with discontentment, Artios has resources to help you as you pursue Christ’s call and through Him influence your circles for Him. Check out these resources:
- Read Why Jesus-Followers Should See Themselves as Leaders
- Read Re-Created to Meet a Need: Knowing When to Jump In
- Get Artios Christian College’s free download of Discovering Your Leadership Strengths
- Enroll in Artios Christian College’s introductory course: Essentials of Vibrant Leadership. This course weaves the foundations of character and discipleship into the fabric of Christian leadership.