A few blog posts ago, I spoke about seeing the gifts in other people and encouraging them in that gift for the sake of their own fulfillment. Furthermore, I stated that if we compliment them for our own gain, that we are being unethical and our actions will not succeed. I would like to convey an experience I had with a church member many years ago when I was pastoring a church in the Los Angeles area.
It concerned a man named Mark.
Mark was a member of our church. Like many members, he had his problems, but none so great that the Lord could not use him. I had heard that Mark played the guitar and was quite skilled. While I had occasional thoughts like; “I wonder why Mark has never tried out for the worship team?” they were simply passing thoughts.
One day, I noticed Mark during the worship time. He was solidly committed to the Lord in those moments. I could just see it. So, after the service, I stopped him as he was exiting. “Hey Mark, hang out for a second, let me finish shaking hands. I want to speak with you.”
Now I know what was going through Mark’s mind, “What did I do now?” When I finished, he came to me, “Yes pastor!?” “Mark, I just wanted to tell you that I was watching you during worship today, and you were really ‘in the zone.’” He smiled; “Thank you.” …Confused stare. “That’s it, I just wanted to tell you that watching you blessed my heart.”
I know exactly what happened next. Mark probably walked away thinking, “I don’t know what pastor saw, but if he saw it, maybe I was really a blessing to him and others, maybe God could use me.”
It wasn’t three weeks later that I heard Mark was rehearsing with the worship team. It took a man of God to catch a glimpse into the spiritual, and be willing to convey what he saw. You need to seek those glimpses into the spiritual when you are with your people. God will reveal what he wants or needs you to see.
WARNING: My experience with Mark cannot be manufactured. You cannot manufacture things to praise others for. God will reveal who and what you are to encourage with your words. You need to be sensitive and watch. People need to hear genuine, spirit-led praise from their leaders.
The people that God has entrusted you with, they look to you for Godly leadership. Here are a few things that I have found to be important:
1. People need to be asked.
2. Expectations need to be defined
3. Accomplishments need to be rewarded.
People, by their nature, desire to live up to their leader’s expectations of them. If no expectations exist, then there is nothing to motivate or challenge them to action.
Do you know what BOLO stands for? It stands for Be On The Lookout… Watch for the men and women like Mark. You will find them. Those who are deeply committed to the things that drive your organization but they have not yet found their Stream of Excellence within it.