Have you ever thought about exactly what the angels said when they proclaimed Jesus' birth? Of all the words that could have been said or sung, they chose to proclaim this good news:
"…a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).
That one statement proclaims the answer to three questions of the human heart:
Can I be rescued?
Am I worth it?
How should I live?
The tinsel and ribbon and comfortable traditions may obscure our view of the cosmic proclamation that night. The angels proclaimed more than just a birth. They proclaimed an answer.
What if this truth informed your leadership all year long? It is a shift of great proportion when a leader moves from solving problems and "managing" to discerning a person's deepest longings and pointing them toward God's work in their life. Even if we spend the majority of hours dealing with strategy or budgets or programming, the real call of every leader is shepherding human hearts.
Here's how to make it practical:
1. Our need for a Savior. Are you aware of your own need for rescue? The word "savior" used in this Luke passage denotes rescue, and speaks both of the rescue from our own sin as well relief from the misery that sin causes in our lives. It seems that women have a unique knack for ruminating on past mistakes. We need to look for this tendency in the ones we lead and think about how we teach on concepts of guilt and grace.
2. Our need for a Christ. The Greek word for Christ—Christos—means to anoint. In the Old Testament, this word described the role of priests as our mediator between our error and God's holiness. Yet the life of Jesus was so much more, as he became both our mediator and our sacrifice. In this Christmas season, I marvel that God considers us worth this much effort! I wonder how living out this truth will change the way I embrace others and the way I do ministry. Being valued so highly deserves a response, and our goal should be to speak the truth of our great worth to God over those who we serve.
3. Our need for a Lord. The word lord denotes ownership. How does it feel to you to think about Jesus "owning" you? To allow his lordship means that I listen to that voice that compels me to do things I otherwise would not and to say things when I'd rather stay silent. It's God's spirit in me that gives me the power to choose the selfless way. In John 13, Jesus tells his disciples that it's right to call him Lord—and then tells them to do as he does, to serve as he serves. As I lead my volunteers this year, I want to continually ask the question of myself and of them: do you embrace your need for lordship in your life? Who or what owns your heart today?
It's only one sentence from Scripture, yet it has the power to inform my heart and my leadership throughout the entire year. Merry Christmas—here's to the great answer of Savior, Christ and Lord!