"Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts." Colossians 4:7-8
This passage is a testament to the importance of influence, and being an attractive person who gets excited and is joyful in their task and call. If the leader has all the gifts and abilities but not the ability to get them across to others, then they are pretty much useless. Unless the leader is not being utilized and taught themselves and growing from their relationships, especially with God, there will be nothing to energize. We must be aware of their weakness and partner with other leaders to compliment each other. Attraction is the love of our Lord overfilling us as leaders to those we are to mobilize and energize. No matter what the circumstance may be, we are given the gifts and abilities to strive to the fullest to the Glory of God. So the Gospel will persevere even in the harshest circumstances, and the neighborhood by your home.
Paul was an extreme example of multiplying networks and energizing and influencing people for the Lord. Being excited about who you are in Christ is an essential aspect of attracting people and motivating them for and in leadership. New Christians bring in most of the new converts, because they are excited, they are energized. Even though new Christians may be ignorant on theological and apologetical matters, they are bringing people in! Verses people who have been Christians for many years tend to lose their excitement and, thus, may rarely bring people into the church.
The principles of the Gospel must impact us so we are influenced and energized by it. If the leader is not excited, the message will drop off, and fall flat. The learner and hearer will not desire something irrelevant and unexciting. If they see no excitement in the leader, why would they want to be apart of it? The nature of the Christian life is the joy and excitement of being in Christ over all else, and this should be the biggest motivation. So the excitement the leader receives from their growth becomes contagious to those around them; this is influence. Being in Christ means living our lives for Him with excitement in all times and all places, this is influence.
Paul's language in representing his "dear brother" shows the love and respect they had for each other, the kind of positive relationship that is so lacking in our world and church these days. The quality relationship that we are called to, but place our baggage and needs to stand in the path Christ has for us. Being a loyal servant of the Lord must impact us with passion and energize us to pass it to others; if not, there is something wrong. There are always peaks and valleys in the Christian walk. We are not always in the up-key mode, but this should not mute the passion we have for Christ. We must press on and reboot ourselves when we get in those valleys, so we can rise to the challenge and follow through with the excitement of His good news.
Encouragement is the fruit of the mature walk of the Christian life. This will empower us to uplift each other and not put us down. It is the immature and ungodly individual that constantly puts down their fellow Christian and a despicable and repulsive Christian who does it to the unbeliever. Thus, the reason for the horrible reputation we Christians have in society. Can you imagine Christ putting people down with insults so as to uplift Himself? Absolutely not! When we are called to model His character, and are created in the image of God, then we are to model that essence and attribute of our Lord. The church in Colosse with its dysfunctions needed the encouragement to press on to the direction the Lord had, just as we need to do. Usually the person with the despicable character needs the most encouragement and to be ministered to, but they should never be in leadership. A leader must be filled with the joy of the Lord, or all they will do is repulse people no matter how gifted they are.
The effective leader will have the ability to attract people for the Lord's service and be willing and able to show the way of discipleship with enthusiasm. The leader will be able to build others through mentoring, with the primary focus on how to glorify Christ and what is best for the Lord's church. It is His church not ours! If the leader does not have a heart for people then they are not called to be a leader, they are too into themselves. The capable leader will be able to motivate and energize people out of their love for people, because of their love for Christ. The ability to energize is born from the desire to please God and carrying that passion to others. We are never to be critical, condescending and belligerent to others for this is a slap in the face of our Lord, a misrepresentation of how we are to be to His people and the world. We cannot excite, energize, and influence people by arrogance. There is nothing worse in the church than an arrogant leader. If Christ was God and Creator of the universe and lived a life without arrogance then how can we, unless we are greater than He!
© 1994, 2001, Richard J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.org