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Leadership Legacies Why Character Trumps All

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

Good leaders are known for leading, encouraging, and caring for those in their organization.

The Apostle Paul wrote,

What after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who made things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. (1 Cor. 3:5-8)

Whatever else one may say about Paul’s logic, he makes it clear that all the credit and glory for his work belongs to God. Every person in ministry would humbly acknowledge the same truth. And yet, how often do we seek to position ourselves so that when the report, article, or book is written, we will receive significant credit for the breakthrough? We can’t seem to help wanting to take some of what should be God’s glory alone.

And the problem is even wider than the scope of the personal example Paul cites. Not only are there those who plant and those who water, but there are those who weed, those who stake, and those who prune, just to name a few analogies that could be cited. In every ministry context there are multitudes of people doing all sorts of tasks that support the establishment and strengthening of churches and further God’s kingdom purposes.

So what does this say about leadership legacies? Consider the following:

First, it says that our categories for understanding complex tasks are oversimplified, and that the Body of Christ is as varied in its doing as in its being. Good leaders are known for celebrating and encouraging the toes in their organization as much as the tongues and the arms. They also know that there is only one head, and it is he alone ...

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