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Through the years of ministry, I have witnessed Christians struggle with and in their role as leaders. Frustrated or impatient, they cry out to God in prayer asking Him for a supernatural endowment of leadership ability, as though leadership was a supernatural gift of the Spirit.

Then there are those who believe the old adage that says, "He's a born leader." If that's you, you've been duped because there's no such person. Leaders aren't born...they are developed.

Even Jesus had to learn leadership skills. It's true. In fact, Jesus went through seven steps in His development as a leader that enabled Him to fulfill His destiny.

As in everything, Jesus is our example for which we are to pattern our lives after. If we'll follow in His steps, we too can fulfill God's vision and plan for our lives and ministries.

A Miraculous Conception
The first step of Jesus' life and ministry was that He had a miraculous conception. We find it recorded in the gospel of Luke:
Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest." Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God." Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
(Luke 1:30-38)
Since Jesus had a miraculous conception, then we must too. When you repent of your sins and ask Jesus to come into your life, the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you are born again. That's your personal miraculous conception (John 3:3).

Being born again makes you ready for God to plant His seed of ministry in your spirit. As you are faithful to seek God for His will in your life, He will show you what your ministry is. If you try to step out in ministry before God plants His seed in you, you'll be doing it in the flesh. Every ministry that is not conceived by and in God is destined to ultimately fail. In order for your ministry to have the anointing of God on it, it too must be "miraculously conceived."

Humble Beginnings
I think every pastor has had this experience. A new believer in the faith or someone who is new to the church walks up to the pastor and says they want to become involved at church. Excited, the pastor tells them of the many openings for cleaning toilets, driving buses or changing diapers in the nursery.

Cleaning toilets! Why, I'm above that, they think. They walk away crestfallen, feeling insulted. They had their eye on directing the choir, being the head of the counseling ministry, or teaching a Bible study.

Actually this is a common problem in the church. A believer asks God to show them what His plan is for their lives. God shows them that He has called them to be a teacher of His Word. They get up off their knees and think they are going to have a teaching ministry the next day.

When they ask the pastor if they can teach the Bible study and he turns them down, they're frustrated and maybe even angry or insulted. Doesn't the pastor know they are called to teach the Word?

Think how foolish that is. That's like someone who just recently graduated from college with a degree in business thinking he can get a job in a large company as one of their top CEOs. The reality is, he'll most likely start out in the mailroom like everyone else had to...diploma and all.

Everyone agrees that would be a ridiculous assumption. Yet, this same scenario happens in the church frequently. Everyone called to ministry has to start at the bottom. No one starts at the head. Like all those before you, you'll have to take your place at the end of the line.

Luke 16:10 says, "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much" (NKJV). If you want to be promoted from the end of the line, you've got to prove yourself faithful in doing the jobs that are least. When you mop that floor or clean that toilet, will you do the best job you're capable of? Or will you just put in your time until something better comes along? The Word says you won't be promoted until you've proved yourself faithful in that which is least.

Jesus Himself had humble beginnings. Luke 2:7 tells us that there was no room for Jesus to be born at the inn. He had to go where there was space available—in a manger with the animals. How many know, sleeping with the animals is at the end of the line?

We can parallel that to our own experience. There may not be room for you to be the head usher, because that job is already filled. Like Jesus, you'll have to go where there is available space.

Somebody might say to me that they believe God is talking to them about being involved in the music ministry. Am I going to let them lead the worship team? Sorry, that job's already filled.

In fact, the policy in our church is that all new singers sing during Wednesday night services. They start out on Wednesday for two reasons: humble beginnings and discovering whether they can carry a tune or not. (Sometimes people think they have something when they don't, and other times they do have a ministry seed but it has to grow and develop a little longer before it can be used.)

Growth Time
This brings us to step number three. Growing time. The reason why the college graduate will be made to start in the mailroom is because his boss will place him there so he can learn and grow in wisdom and knowledge about the company.

He will be promoted out of the mailroom and up the corporate ladder the more he learns about the company.

Jesus too had to go through a growing time. It says in Luke 2:52, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man" (KJV). At a very early age, Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and favor not only with God but with man as well.

Sometimes we think to be a successful minister, we just have to have something going with God. No, you have to have skills that will enable you to have something going with people too.

We may have the right message, but lack the necessary people skills to communicate it effectively. What if our delivery stinks? What if we're so boring that people can't keep their eyes open long enough to hear our wonderful message?

As leaders, there are many facets of our life that need growing up. For example, a successful leader cannot judge, criticize or let the hurts of his or her own life show through. It takes time for someone to grow up in these areas. That's why it's necessary for us to start at the bottom. It gives us plenty of time to develop in our character and faith.

The more you grow in God, there will be "less of you" and "more of God" when you minister.

In Luke 2:46,49 we see Jesus at age 12 being about his father's business by listening to and asking the teachers questions. If Jesus learned that way, then we will too. Sometimes we think we're supposed to know everything before we learn anything.

"Being about our Father's business" isn't only about preaching and teaching. One day it might be encouraging a fellow believer, the next day it might be witnessing, the day after that it might be counseling someone. All of this hones your communication skills.

These skills are not learned by sitting in a rocking chair at home in front of the TV. You've got to be willing to serve in humble "start at the bottom" places, learning and growing in God.

Jesus who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords had a humble beginning. Before Jesus began His teaching ministry He had to grow first by asking questions and listening. You're not going to bypass Jesus and skip these steps. You too will have humble beginnings and a time of growth.

Word of Faith Church
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tim Davidson
Web site: Word of Faith Church & Outreach Center
Tim Davidson is the Head Pastor of Word of Faith Church and Outreach Center in Bismarck, North Dakota. A 1977 graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center of Tulsa, Oklahoma, God has called Tim into the body of Christ as a teacher and pastor. Called to the Body of Christ as a pastor and teacher, Tim Davidson pioneered Word of Faith Church in Bismarck in 1980. He served as its Lead Pastor for 35 years and now serves as Founding Pastor. Pastor Tim has pioneered 6 churches in North Dakota and now serves as Regional Director for Rhema Ministerial Association International. Teaching believers foundational truths from God's Word is his passion. He has authored 3 yearly devotion books that are used both here and overseas to help believers become "rooted and grounded" in their faith. God is now calling Pastor Tim to share the treasury of wisdom and knowledge God has given to him with other pastors and churches.

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