On this week's episode, Todd told a story about an encounter in a church office that drastically changed the direction of his life.
Most of us have someone we can readily identify who, at some point early on, spoke profound truth into our lives regarding our call to ministry.
"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands." - 2 Timothy 1:6
But that was then and this is now. Which leads us to this question - how can you encourage someone? How can you fan the flame in your own life and in the life of others?
Be a Timothy
Remember your calling. As a leader, you will absolutely go through a drought in your ministry, and in those times, knowing your calling will be the only thing that keeps you going. And if it hasn’t happened yet, IT WILL.
In the scripture above, Paul goes on to tell Timothy that he would share in suffering because of his call to the Gospel. And this is what's awesome about being a Timothy! We can look to every Paul in our life who proverbially laid hands on us. We can take heart in that our calling is as true and strong now as it was then - if not stronger - despite our circumstances and feelings.
God’s power, presence, and gifts exist in us. Period. The doubt and fear and struggle won't change that. And the "Pauls" in your life will see this. The people who spoke into your life weren’t merely speaking passing praise, they were speaking their conviction. Maybe you feel like your fire is out. Maybe you feel like you're running on embers. Go back to those people who lit the fire to begin with!
Be a Paul
In a church culture seemingly obsessed with album sales, conferences, and humble-bragging on social media, the waters may seem muddy on what it means to be successful. Paul says that our value as leaders isn't based on our number of followers. Our value, our success is the “laying on of hands” for the next generation of leaders.
Our legacy won’t be any of the things listed at the top of this paragraph. Our legacy will be that we edified those we identified. Like Todd’s story on the podcast, we have people who are coming up under us who sometimes don’t even see this calling in themselves. It’s our privilege to stoke the fire God already started.
It’s not easy. “Laying on of hands” takes a large investment of time. It takes vigilance. It takes hard conversations and trust. But the reward is worth it. We get to be a conduit of God’s blessing in someone’s life. That is something that will outlast my voice, my ability to play guitar, and all the practical trappings of what we call leading worship. Stop letting comparison steal the joy of your calling. And while you’re in the trenches, don’t be too selfish to invest in the calling of others along the way.
Lay the hands. Fan the flame.
Anthony Croff is a worship leader at Highland Terrace Baptist Church in Greenville, TX. He's the co-host of the Average Everyday Worship Leader podcast and an active vlogger and podcaster himself.