John tells us in chapter 4 about that day when Jesus was sitting by a well talking with a lady about ‘living water’. This was a really important conversation and Jesus seemed so relaxed, so easy going. The love for this woman just flowed, you can feel it in His words. He really cared for her and the conversation was going like He had nothing else to do that day, it was just Jesus and this Samaritan woman.
Then, His disciples came back from town where they had been looking for food. These are the guys who would take His words to the ends of the earth. These are the leaders of the future. They are the guys who He has called to change the world. They would eventually die because of Him! They barely saw the woman or noticed the conversation. They wanted Jesus to see that they had found some food. They had been successful!
Jesus saw an opportunity to teach them that getting food in the village was like leadership. They got something they didn’t work for. So do we! Jesus said, “I sent you (or am sending you) to reap what you did not work for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” That’s what leadership is… building on the labors of other people. We get ideas from others. We get inspiration from others. Others help us. Others respond to us and give us a sense of success. We build teams. Even the people we work with are involved in what we are doing. We are never alone, never by ourselves. We have talked about the value of partnership with others. Jesus wants us to partner in ministry.
1. Recognize others as a gift from God who are there to help you do what God has asked you to do.
2. Don’t ever compete with someone else in ministry.
3. Don’t ignore or minimize the contribution of others to your life and ministry.
A leader who does not recognize others and the value of others is not doing ministry the way Jesus sees it. He wants us to “be glad together” (John 4:36). It’s hard to be ‘glad together’ when you are standing alone. He wants us celebrating our successes with others. So, find someone to nurture into ministry, or, someone to work with. We are not in leadership or ministry by ourselves. There are others. Take advantage of the opportunities to learn together, to serve together and to be glad together.
That’s when you will feel that ‘living water’ flowing through you!