The story may not be true, but I heard that the pastor of a large Baptist church met with his deacons and was told, “Pastor, you are always so busy. We decided you need an associate pastor.” Far from seeing this as good news, the pastor replied, “Look, I’m busy enough as it is. I don’t have time to play nursemaid to an associate.” (I have actually cleaned that up a bit.)
There is some truth to the pastor’s reaction. Bringing new leaders up to speed takes time. On the other hand, the time invested in another person is usually worth it. Here are some reasons to invest yourself in others.
First, it is biblical. We see numerous examples of experienced leaders spending time in developing others--Eli and Samuel, Elijah and Elisha, Barnabas and Paul, Priscilla and Apollos, Jesus and the Twelve. They shared their life experiences and helped others to discover and apply their gifts.
Second, it is practical. By bringing another person alongside, we find help to share the task that has been given to us. Although there may be a learning curve for our partner, he or she can multiply our efforts.
Third, it is creative. Having another pair of eyes or mind can provide fresh insight and understanding. So often we do things the same way and fail to see the better way.
Fourth, it is the way forward. None of us will be here forever. If the tasks we perform are important, someone else needs to be ready to do them.
Who are you investing in? If you are not, why not?